Sodium, Chloride, Potassium – Cardiovascular System Example

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"Sodium, Chloride, Potassium"  is a worthy example of a paper on the cardiovascular system. The mechanism of potassium in lowering the blood pressure involves the reduction of the extracellular expansion, which often occurs because of the increment in the level of salt intake. Such is possible since potassium alkaline salts possess the choleretic and natriuretic effect (Scholarly Editions, 2012). These potassium salts also reduce the production of endogenous acid and increased the pH of the blood. As such, potassium has the potential of reducing diastolic and systolic blood pressure. K+ ions, which are outside the cell, act as the key means of impulse transmission for potassium.

Hence, these k+ ions have to be sufficient in the body. Such is vital since the ions aid in the ribosome biosynthesis of the proteins. During the process of cell repair and growth, potassium exists in the intracellular fluid. Further, potassium aids in the process of protecting the cardio-vascular damage because of the sensitivity of salt to hypertension (Sharma, 2006). This occurs through the reduction of ROS generation, the resistance of insulin amelioration and sympatholytic action, which stems from the antioxidation effect.

Potassium results in the relaxation of the smooth muscles and the prevention of arterial hypertrophy. Evidence indicates that potassium supports sodium excretion through the urine. Moreover, potassium inhibits arterial thrombosis and platelet aggregation, which has the impact of reducing the vascular and peripheral resistance.                       3Na+ ions are transported from the cell by the sodium pump while the 2K+ ions are transported to the cell. The pumping mechanism needs energy, which is generated after the hydrolysis of one ATP molecule to give ADP. ADP results in the production of the correct k+ ions concentration.

Such a balance in the concentration enables muscle and nerve cells to function effectively. Thus, there is effective protection of the cardiovascular system. Further, the cells experience high potassium levels.                       Excess sodium has a negative impact on contributing to the development of hypertension. This occurs when there is a disturbance of the potassium factor since the ratio Na‾ /K+ lacks balance when sodium is in excess. Such has the consequence of the increment in the contraction of the blood vessels and heart muscles.                         A balance between chloride and sodium is attained through the functions of the hormone system of the rennin-angiotensin-aldosterone axis.

Angiotensin II acts as a vasoconstrictor, which results in the regulation of the nephron and results in the increment of chloride and sodium retention in the body. This triggers the adrenal cortex to release aldosterone. As such, the kidneys have the potential of absorbing excess sodium, which in exchange for potassium ions and the increment of sodium and chloride absorption results in the development of high blood pressure (Institute of Medicine Staff & National Academies Press, 2005).

This causes the release of the atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) from the large volume of blood. ANP ensures that there is the minimal release of renin, which has the impact of having a reduced release of aldosterone and angiotensin II. Thus, there is an increase in the glomerular filtration rate. In a non-hypertensive person, the actions have the impact of protection against hypertension since they aid in the reduction of blood pressure and blood volume. However, the increment in the level of sodium in the body has the impact of reducing the potential of the rennin-angiotensin-aldosterone system in an effective response to physiological stimuli.


Institute of Medicine Staff & National Academies Press (U.S.). (2005). Dietary

Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. Washington: National Academies Press.

Sharma, B. K. (2006). Analytical Chemistry: (Comprehensively Covering the UGC

Syllabus). Krishna Prakashan Media.

Scholarly Editions. (2012). Potassium Compounds: Advances in Research and

Application: 2011 Edition: Scholarly Paper.

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