Skip to main content
×
Home

Does stress induce salt intake?

  • Susan J. Torres (a1), Anne I. Turner (a1) and Caryl A. Nowson (a1)
Abstract

Psychological stress is a common feature of modern day societies, and contributes to the global burden of disease. It was proposed by Henry over 20 years ago that the salt intake of a society reflects the level of stress, and that stress, through its effect on increasing salt intake, is an important factor in the development of hypertension. This review evaluates the evidence from animal and human studies to determine if stress does induce a salt appetite and increase salt consumption in human subjects. Findings from animal studies suggest that stress may drive salt intake, with evidence for a potential mechanism via the sympatho-adrenal medullary system and/or the hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal axis. In contrast, in the few laboratory studies conducted in human subjects, none has found that acute stress affects salt intake. However, one study demonstrated that life stress (chronic stress) was associated with increased consumption of snack foods, which included, but not specifically, highly salty snacks. Studies investigating the influence of chronic stress on eating behaviours are required, including consumption of salty foods. From the available evidence, we can conclude that in free-living, Na-replete individuals, consuming Na in excess of physiological requirements, stress is unlikely to be a major contributor to salt intake.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Does stress induce salt intake?
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Does stress induce salt intake?
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Does stress induce salt intake?
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Susan J. Torres, fax +61 3 9244 6017, email susan.torres@deakin.edu.au
References
Hide All
1Henry JP (1988) Stress, salt and hypertension. Soc Sci Med 26, 293302.
2Denton D (1982) The Hunger for Salt: An Anthropological, Physiological and Medical Analysis. New York: Springer-Verlag.
3Prior IA, Evans JG, Harvey HP, et al. (1968) Sodium intake and blood pressure in two Polynesian populations. N Engl J Med 279, 515520.
4Bennett SA & Magnus P (1994) Trends in cardiovascular risk factors in Australia. Med J Aust 161, 519527.
5World Health Organisation (2002) Reducing the Risks, Promoting Healthy Life, Geneva: WHO.
6Whitworth JA; World Health Organization, International Society of Hypertension Writing Group (2003) 2003 World Health Organization (WHO)/International Society of Hypertension (ISH) statement on management of hypertension. J Hypertens 21, 19831992.
7Elliott P, Stamler J, Nichols R, et al. (1996) Intersalt revisited: further analyses of 24 hour sodium excretion and blood pressure within and across populations. Intersalt Cooperative Research Group. BMJ 312, 12491253.
8Law MR (1997) Epidemiologic evidence on salt and blood pressure. Am J Hypertens 10, 42S45S.
9He FJ & MacGregor GA (2007) Salt, blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Curr Opin Cardiol 22, 298305.
10Suter PM, Sierro C & Vetter W (2002) Nutritional factors in the control of blood pressure and hypertension. Nutr Clin Care 5, 919.
11Jurgens G & Graudal NA (2004) Effects of low sodium diet versus high sodium diet on blood pressure, renin, aldosterone, catecholamines, cholesterols, and triglyceride. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, issue 1, CD004022.http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab004022.html.
12Bunker SJ, Colquhoun DM, Esler MD, et al. (2003) ‘Stress’ and coronary heart disease: psychosocial risk factors. National Heart Foundation of Australia position statement update. MJA 178, 272276.
13Stricker EM (1980) The physiological basis of sodium appetite: a new look at the ‘depletion–repletion’ model. In Biological and Behavioral Aspects of Salt Intake, pp. 185204 [Kare M, Fregly M and Bernard R, editors]. New York: Academic Press.
14Mattes RD (1997) The taste for salt in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 65, 692S697S.
15Nicolaidis S (2008) Prenatal imprinting of postnatal specific appetites and feeding behavior. Metabolism 57, Suppl. 2, S22S26.
16Chandrashekar J, Kuhn C, Oka Y, et al. (2010) The cells and peripheral representation of sodium taste in mice. Nature (Epublication ahead of print version 27 January 2010).
17Kumar P & Clark M (1994) Clinical Medicine, 3rd ed.London: Bailliere Tindall.
18Thorn G, Dorrance S & Day E (1942) Addison's disease: evaluation of synthetic desoxycorticosterone acetate therapy in 158 patients. Ann Intern Med 16, 10531096.
19Knoers N & Levtchenko EN (2008) Gitelman syndrome. Orphanet J Rare Dis 3, 22.
20Cruz DN, Shaer AJ, Bia MJ, et al. (2001) Gitelman's syndrome revisited: an evaluation of symptoms and health-related quality of life. Kidney Int 59, 710717.
21Beauchamp GK, Bertino M, Burke D, et al. (1990) Experimental sodium depletion and salt taste in normal human volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr 51, 881889.
22Birch LL (1999) Development of food preferences. Annu Rev Nutr 19, 4162.
23Wise PM, Hansen JL, Reed DR, et al. (2007) Twin study of the heritability of recognition thresholds for sour and salty taste. Chem Senses 32, 749754.
24Bertino M, Beauchamp GK & Engelman K (1986) Increasing dietary salt alters salt taste preference. Physiol Behav 38, 203213.
25Bertino M, Beauchamp GK & Engelman K (1982) Long-term reduction in dietary sodium alters the taste of salt. Am J Clin Nutr 36, 11341144.
26Tilbrook AJ (2007) Neuropeptides, stress-related. In Encylopedia of Stress, 2nd ed., pp. 903908 [Fink G, editor]. Oxford: Academic Press.
27Dobson H & Smith RF (1995) Stress and reproduction in farm-animals. J Reprod Fertil Suppl 49, 451461.
28Turner AI, Hemsworth PH & Tilbrook AJ (2002) Susceptibility of reproduction in female pigs to impairment by stress and the role of the hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal axis. Reprod Fertil Dev 14, 377391.
29Turner AI, Hemsworth PH & Tilbrook AJ (2005) Susceptibility of reproduction in female pigs to impairment by stress or elevation of cortisol. Domest Anim Endocrinol 29, 398410.
30Turner A & Tilbrook A (2006) Stress, cortisol and reproduction in female pigs. In Control of Pig Reproduction VII, Reproduction Supplement, vol. 62, pp. 191203 [Ashworth C and Kraeling R, editors]. Nottingham: Nottingham University Press.
31Turner AI, Canny BJ, Hobbs RJ, et al. (2002) Influence of sex and gonadal status of sheep on cortisol secretion in response to ACTH and on cortisol and LH secretion in response to stress: importance of different stressors. J Endocrinol 173, 113122.
32Tilbrook AJ, Rivalland EA, Turner AI, et al. (2008) Responses of the hypothalamopituitary adrenal axis and the sympathoadrenal system to isolation/restraint stress in sheep of different adiposity. Neuroendocrinology 87, 193205.
33Turner AI, Hosking BJ, Parr RA, et al. (2006) A sex difference in the cortisol response to tail docking and ACTH develops between 1 and 8 weeks of age in lambs. J Endocrinol 188, 443449.
34Bourjeili N, Turner M, Stinner J, et al. (1995) Sympathetic nervous system influences salt appetite in four strains of rats. Physiol Behav 58, 437443.
35Howell LA, Harris RBS, Clarke C, et al. (1999) The effects of restraint stress on intake of preferred and nonpreferred solutions in rodents. Physiol Behav 65, 697704.
36Denton DA, Coghlan JP, Fei DT, et al. (1984) Stress, ACTH, salt intake and high blood pressure. Clin Exp Hypertens A6, 403415.
37Denton DA, Blair-West JR, McBurnie MI, et al. (1999) Effect of adrenocorticotrophic hormone on sodium appetite in mice. Am J Physiol 277, R1033R1040.
38Ely DE, Thoren P, Wiegand J, et al. (1987) Sodium appetite as well as 24-h variations of fluid balance, mean arterial pressure and heart rate in spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) and normotensive (WKY) rats, when on various sodium diets. Acta Physiol Scand 129, 8192.
39Kuta CC, Bryant HU, Zabik JE, et al. (1984) Stress, endogenous opiods and salt intake. Appetite 5, 5360.
40Leshem M, Maroun M & Del Canho S (1996) Sodium depletion and maternal separation in the suckling rat increase its salt intake when adult. Physiol Behav 59, 199204.
41Ely D, Herman M, Ely L, et al. (2000) Sodium intake is increased by social stress and the Y chromosome and reduced by clonidine. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 278, R407R412.
42Bensi N, Bertuzzi M, Armario A, et al. (1997) Chronic immobilization stress reduces sodium intake and renal excretion in rats. Physiol Behav 62, 13911396.
43Niebylski A, Bertuzzi M, Bensi N, et al. (2000) Renal excretion and saline intake during post-stress immobilization period in rats. Arch Physiol Biochem 108, 268274.
44Light K (1992) Differential responses to salt intake–stress interactions. Relevance to hypertension. In Individual Differences in Cardiovascular Responses to Stress, [Turner J, editor]. New York: Plenum Press.
45Harshfield GA, Pulliam DA & Alpert BS (1991) Patterns of sodium-excretion during sympathetic nervous-system arousal. Hypertension 17, 11561160.
46Weisinger RS, Blair-West JR, Burns P, et al. (2000) The inhibitory effect of hormones associated with stress on Na appetite of sheep. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97, 29222927.
47Shade RE, Blair-West JR, Carey KD, et al. (2002) Ingestive responses to administration of stress hormones in baboons. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 282, R10R18.
48De Castro e Silva E, Fregoneze JB & Johnson AK (2006) Corticotropin-releasing hormone in the lateral parabrachial nucleus inhibits sodium appetite in rats. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 290, R1136R1141.
49Tarjan E & Denton D (1991) Sodium/water intake of rabbits following administration of hormones of stress. Brain Res Bull 26, 133136.
50Weisinger RS, Denton DA, McKinley MJ, et al. (1978) ACTH induced sodium appetite in the rat. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 8, 339342.
51Jankevicius ML & Widowski TM (2003) Exogenous adrenocorticotrophic hormone does not elicit a salt appetite in growing pigs. Physiol Behav 78, 277284.
52Shelat SG, King JL, Flanagan-Cato LM, et al. (1999) Mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids cooperatively increase salt intake and angiotensin II receptor binding in rat brain. Neuroendocrinology 69, 339351.
53Thunhorst RL, Beltz TG & Johnson AK (2007) Glucocorticoids increase salt appetite by promoting water and sodium excretion. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 293, R1444R1451.
54Rowland NE, Farnbauch LJ & Crews EC (2004) Sodium deficiency and salt appetite in ICR: CD1 mice. Physiol Behav 80, 629635.
55Geerling JC & Loewy AD (2008) Central regulation of sodium appetite. Exp Physiol 93, 177209.
56Ma LY, McEwen BS, Sakai RR, et al. (1993) Glucocorticoids facilitate mineralocorticoid-induced sodium intake in the rat. Horm Behav 27, 240250.
57Zhang DM, Epstein AN & Schulkin J (1993) Medial region of the amygdala: involvement in adrenal-steroid-induced salt appetite. Brain Res 600, 2026.
58Sherwood L (2001) Human Physiology from Cells to Systems, 4th ed. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
59Oliver G, Wardle J & Gibson L (2000) Stress and food choice: a laboratory study. Psychosom Med 62, 853865.
60Miller SB, Friese M, Dolgoy L, et al. (1998) Hostility, sodium consumption, and cardiovascular response to interpersonal stress. Psychosom Med 60, 7177.
61Epel E, Lapidus R, McEwen B, et al. (2001) Stress may add bite to appetite in women: a laboratory study of stress-induced cortisol and eating behavior. Psychoneuroendocrinology 26, 3749.
62Zellner DA, Loaiza S, Gonzalez Z, et al. (2006) Food selection changes under stress. Physiol Behav 87, 789793.
63Oliver G & Wardle J (1999) Perceived effects of stress on food choice. Physiol Behav 66, 511515.
64Torres SJ & Nowson CA (2007) Relationship between stress, eating behavior, and obesity. Nutrition 23, 887894.
65Dallman MF, la Fleur SE, Pecoraro NC, et al. (2004) Minireview: glucocorticoids – food intake, abdominal obesity, and wealthy nations in 2004. Endocrinology 145, 26332638.
66Yeomans MR, Blundell JE & Leshem M (2004) Palatability: response to nutritional need or need-free stimulation of appetite? Br J Nutr 92, S3S14.
67Blundell JE, Goodson S & Halford JCG (2001) Regulation of appetite: role of leptin in signalling systems for drive and satiety. Int J Obes 25, S29S34.
68Levine AS & Billington CJ (1997) Why do we eat? A neural systems approach. Ann Rev Nutr 17, 597619.
69Wong KS, Williamson PM, Brown MA, et al. (1993) Effects of cortisol on blood pressure and salt preference in normal humans. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 20, 121126.
70World Health Organisation (2007) Reducing Salt Intake in Populations. Geneva: WHO.
71Intersalt Cooperative Research Group (1988) Intersalt: an international study of electrolyte excretion and blood pressure. Results for 24 hour urinary sodium and potassium excretion. Intersalt Cooperative Research Group. BMJ 297, 319328.
72Beard TC, Woodward DR, Ball PJ, et al. (1997) The Hobart Salt Study 1995: few meet national sodium intake target. Med J Aust 166, 404407.
73James WP, Ralph A & Sanchez-Castillo CP (1987) The dominance of salt in manufactured food in the sodium intake of affluent societies. Lancet 1, 426429.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 13
Total number of PDF views: 82 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 194 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 20th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.