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Effect of potassium intake on the regulation of the ENaC renal epithelial channel in primary arterial hypertension: A systematic review
* 1, 2 , 3
1  Instituto de Farmacia, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
2  Programa de Maestría en Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad del Tolima, Ibagué, Colombia
3  Programa de Medicina, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
Academic Editor: Salvatore De Rosa

Published: 15 September 2021 by MDPI in The 1st International Electronic Conference on Clinical Medicine session Cardiology (registering DOI)

The balance between sodium and potassium represents a key point for the regulation of hypertension and in recent years, scientific research has contributed to its understanding from molecular to epidemiological aspects. This review aims to show evidence of regulation of the ENaC channel by the intake of potassium for the control of primary hypertension. The epithelial sodium channel -ENaC- regulated by the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system at the renal level, is essential for sodium homeostasis and the maintenance of arterial hypertension, and several medical investigations have generated drugs that inhibit activation pathways for sodium action on blood pressure; also, observational, interventional and experimental studies in humans and animals demonstrate the consequences of increased sodium intake. In this context, potassium intake is suggested as a more comprehensive treatment for the control of arterial hypertension, acting at the molecular level with decreased activation of the ENaC channel by normalizing sodium and potassium concentrations, reducing sensitivity to the development of cardiovascular diseases; Moreover, nutritional evidence shows that populations with natural foods rich in fruits and vegetables that exceed potassium intake (150 mEq per day) and minimize sodium intake (20-40 mEq per day) suffer arterial hypertension at a rate of less than 3%, without negative effects on lipid balance, catecholamines, and ion concentrations in the kidney.

Keywords: Arterial hypertension; ENaC channel; sodium and potassium balance; nutrition.
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