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Effect of excess dietary salt on calcium metabolism and bone mineral in a spaceflight rat modelHigh levels of salt promote urinary calcium (UCa) loss and have the potential to cause bone mineral deficits if intestinal Ca absorption does not compensate for these losses. To determine the effect of excess dietary salt on the osteopenia that follows skeletal unloading, we used a spaceflight model that unloads the hindlimbs of 200-g rats by tail suspension (S). Rats were studied for 2 wk on diets containing high salt (4 and 8%) and normal calcium (0.45%) and for 4 wk on diets containing 8% salt (HiNa) and 0.2% Ca (LoCa). Final body weights were 9-11% lower in S than in control rats (C) in both experiments, reflecting lower growth rates in S than in C during pair feeding. UCa represented 12% of dietary Ca on HiNA diets and was twofold higher in S than in C transiently during unloading. Net intestinal Ca absorption was consistently 11-18% lower in S than in C. Serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D was unaffected by either LoCa or HiNa diets in S but was increased by LoCa and HiNa diets in C. Despite depressed intestinal Ca absoption in S and a sluggish response of the Ca endocrine system to HiNa diets, UCa loss did not appear to affect the osteopenia induced by unloading. Although any deficit in bone mineral content from HiNa diets may have been too small to detect or the duration of the study too short to manifest, there were clear differences in Ca metabolism from control levels in the response of the spaceflight model to HiNa diets, indicated by depression of intestinal Ca absorption and its regulatory hormone.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Navidi, Meena
Wolinsky, Ira
Fung, Paul
Arnaud, Sara B.
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1995
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Applied Physiology
Volume: 78
Issue: 1
ISSN: 8750-7587
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 199-26-12-02
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