Modest sodium reduction increases circulating short-chain fatty acids in untreated hypertensives: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Li Chen, Feng J. He, Yanbin Dong, Ying Huang, Changqiong Wang, Gregory A. Harshfield, Haidong Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

High-sodium diet may modulate the gut microbiome. Given the circulating short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are microbial in origin, we tested the hypothesis that the modest sodium reduction would alter circulating SCFA concentrations among untreated hypertensives, and the changes would be associated with reduced blood pressure and improved cardiovascular phenotypes. A total of 145 participants (42% blacks, 19% Asian, and 34% females) were included from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over trial of sodium reduction with slow sodium or placebo tablets, each for 6 weeks. Targeted circulating SCFA profiling was performed in paired serum samples, which were collected at the end of each period, so as all outcome measures. Sodium reduction increased all 8 SCFAs, among which the increases in 2-methylbutyrate, butyrate, hexanoate, isobutyrate, and valerate were statistically significant (Ps<0.05). Also, increased SCFAs were associated with decreased blood pressure and improved arterial compliance. There were significant sex differences of SCFAs in response to sodium reduction (Ps<0.05). When stratified by sex, the increases in butyrate, hexanoate, isobutyrate, isovalerate, and valerate were significant in females only (Ps<0.05), not in males (Ps>0.05). In females, changes in isobutyrate, isovalerate, and 2-methylbutyrate were inversely associated with reduced blood pressures (Ps<0.05). Increased valerate was associated with decreased carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (P=0.040). Our results show that dietary sodium reduction increases circulating SCFAs, supporting that dietary sodium may influence the gut microbiome in humans. There is a sex difference in SCFA response to sodium reduction. Moreover, increased SCFAs are associated with decreased blood pressures and improved arterial compliance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalHypertension
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • Blood pressure
  • Fatty acids
  • Hypertension
  • Phenotype
  • Sodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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