Background and Aim: Hypertension is one of the most frequently detected disorders in man, depending on criteria of definition, it has been found to affect up to 30% of the population. Salt is the major environmental factor for hypertension. There are little studies on the effect of different amounts of salt consumption during prenatal period. In this study, the effects of feeding with different salt concentrations during pregnancy on next generation were evaluated.
Materials and Methods: Eight groups of rat, six in each group, (one male and five female) having 200 ± 20 grams of weight were selected .Test groups were deprived of drinkable water and 0.5, 1, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 and 2 percent of salt solutions were given to rats during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and lactation period. Control group used tap water of Isfahan and the other test group used distilled water as potable water during these periods. All groups were fed with the same diet and all other living conditions for all groups were alike. Birth weight, weights and BP in the third month after birth, vascular response to epinephrine and aceryleholine, tissue changes, and NA and aldosterone levels were studied.
Results: Using 0.5 and 1% salt solution as potable water did not affect systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of next generation significantly, but led to an increase in birth weight and adult weight. SBP and DBP in those groups, that mothers were used solutions with higher salt concentrations during pregnancy increased significantly, birth weight and adult weight decreased, vascular response to epinephrine increased and vascular response to acetylcholine decreased and cardiac hypertrophy was seen. Serum sodium level and appetite to salt were increased in these groups, but aldosterone level was decreased.
Conclusion: Na necessity increases during pregnancy, innate tendency to consume excessive amount of salt during pregnancy has been shown in most species of animals. feeding with sufficient sodium during pregnancy in animals gives birth to more and healthy infants, but nutrition with excessive amount of salt creates harmful effects. Therefore, it is generally recommended that women consider increased sodium needs during pregnancy but in order to prevent its harmful effects, they must avoid taking excessive salt during pregnancy.
Key words: Salt, Pregnancy, Blood Pressure