Dietary sodium restriction decreases insulin secretion without affecting insulin sensitivity in humans

James M. Luther, Loretta M. Byrne, Chang Yu, Thomas J. Wang, Nancy J. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Results: A low-sodium diet increased endogenous aldosterone and plasma renin activity, and acute glucose-stimulated insulin (-16.0 ± 5.6%; P =.007) and C-peptide responses (-21.8 ± 8.4%; P =.014) were decreased, where as the insulin sensitivity index was unchanged (-1.0 ± 10.7%; P=.98). Aldosterone infusion did not affect the acute insulin response (+1.8 ± 4.8%; P =.72) or insulin sensitivity index (+2.0 ± 8.8%; P =.78). Systolic blood pressure and serum potassium were similar during low and high sodium intake and during aldosterone infusion.

Main Outcome Measures: Change in acute insulin secretory response assessed during hyperglycemicclamps while in sodium balance during a low-sodium vs high-sodium diet during aldosterone vs vehicle.

Conclusions: Low dietary sodium intake reduces insulin secretion in humans, independent of insulin sensitivity.

Context: Interruption of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system prevents incident diabetes in high-risk individuals, although the mechanism remains unclear.

Objective: To test the hypothesis that activation of the endogenous renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system or exogenous aldosterone impairs insulin secretion in humans.

Design: We conducted a randomized, blinded crossover study of aldosterone vs vehicle and compared the effects of a low-sodium versus a high-sodium diet.

Setting: Academic clinical research center.

Participants: Healthy, nondiabetic, normotensive volunteers.

Interventions: Infusion of exogenous aldosterone (0.7 μg/kg/h for 12.5 h) or vehicle during low or high sodium intake. Low sodium (20 mmol/d; n = 12) vs high sodium (160 mmol/d; n = 17) intake for 5-7 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1895-E1902
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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