In the hypothalamus, a deep structure of the brain, excess salt in the blood decreases blood flow. This is the astonishing conclusion of a research group from the University of Georgia.
When theare active in , they need glucose, the fuel for our cells, and oxygen. Both are transported by and to ensure a supply to match the demand for neurons, a set of biological mechanisms is put in place and increases the blood. The phenomenon was observed in the cerebral cortex, the outermost layer of the that we also call grey. Researchers at the University of Georgia (United States) are interested in the same phenomenon, but in a deeper structure, the hypothalamus. .
In the hypothalamus, salt reduces blood flow
Let’s look into the supraoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus. Thisharbors neurons whose main activity is the vasopressin, a antidiuretic important in the control of blood salt concentration. If the increased blood flow around neurons promotes their activity, then an excess of blood salt should be linked to the increased blood flow to nourish the neurons which activate to eliminate this .
Scientists have observed the opposite phenomenon. In the supraoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus, too much salt in the blood causes vasodilation and significantly decreases its flow, to such an extent that locally, the cells are deprived of oxygen (). « When we eat very salty, the levels of in the body remain high for a long time. We believe that hypoxia is a mechanism that enhances the ability of neurons to respond to a continuous saline, allowing them to remain active for a long time », Explains Javier E. Stern, neuroscientist and director of this research. These results raise interesting questions about which, in a significant number of cases, is due to a diet too high in salt.