Sodium intake, RAAS-blockade and progressive renal disease

Pharmacol Res. 2016 May;107:344-351. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2016.03.037. Epub 2016 Mar 31.


Pharmacological blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) by angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers is the current standard treatment to prevent progressive renal function loss in patients with chronic kidney disease. Yet in many patients the renal protective effect of RAAS-blockade is incomplete. Short-term clinical studies have demonstrated that dietary sodium restriction potentiates the antiproteinuric effect of RAAS-blockade. More recently, it was shown that this effect is accompanied by a lower risk of end-stage renal disease and adverse cardiovascular outcomes. The modulation of RAAS-blockade efficacy by sodium intake is likely multifactorial, and is mediated by effects of sodium on local tissue RAAS in kidney, vasculature and brain, and by effects on the immune system. Despite the evidence showing the beneficial effects of even a moderate sodium restriction (∼2.5g/d), it remains difficult to realize in clinical practice. In an analysis based on 24-h urinary sodium excretion data from more than 10,000 CKD patients and renal transplant recipients, we found that sodium intake in these patients is on average 3.8g/d, closely resembling the global general population (3.95g/d). Behavioral approaches including the use of online dietary coaching (ehealth) and feedback using data from 24-h urine collections may be useful to successfully lower dietary sodium intake, aiming to improve cardio-renal outcomes in patients with CKD.

Keywords: Angiotensin converting enzyme blockade; Angiotensin receptor blockade; Chronic kidney disease; Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system; Salt; Sodium.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet, Sodium-Restricted*
  • Heart / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / diet therapy*
  • Renin-Angiotensin System* / drug effects
  • Sodium Chloride, Dietary


  • Sodium Chloride, Dietary