Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Sodium Hypothesis

Controversial proposal that hypertension can be caused by a high salt (sodium) intake in the diet. Attributed to suggestions in 1904 by French physicians L. Amberd and E. Beaujard, the hypothesis has recently been resurrected by certain researchers who have speculated that the prevalence of hypertension in Americans of African ancestry is a function of a genetically mediated salt retention mechanism present in slave ancestors who survived the voyage from Africa to the New World. Aka salt-gene hypothesis, salt hypothesis.

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