Categories: Screening Tests

The Genetic and Preventive Approach to Stop Hypertension and Kidney Disease


The previously published clinical guidelines to treat cardiovascular disease (CVD) were precisely approaches to treat this condition. Nowadays, the American Heart Association (AHA) and KDOQi gathered an interesting treatment approach to diminish the risk of developing chronic conditions. As new metabolic and inflammatory markers become critical control points to prevent and reverse disease, new dietary practices become essential to make the shift. Also, the efficacy and reliability of genetic testing can join the nutritional CVD treatment guidelines to tailor a better and personalized plan to our patient.

Genetic MarkersÂ

The dietary approaches to stop hypertension focus on reducing sodium ingestion to reduce high blood pressure (HBP). The underlying mechanism of this preventive factor ultimately lessens the extracellular water and prevents swelling of the lower limbs, and lowers BP. However, genetic testing goes upstream and can determine the enzymatic function modulating the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS).

ACE: ACE is the genetic code for the angiotensin-converting enzyme, a key player in the renin-angiotensin system. A deletion (D) or insertion (I) in this code directly reflects the body’s capacity to modulate blood pressure and fluids.Â

A study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine to detect SNPs on ACE in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy. This study found that patients with the DD genotype strongly associated with left ventricular hypertrophy in men. Also, the findings of this study suggested that left ventricular hypertrophy had a close association with genetic disposition. 

AGT: AGT is the genetic code for angiotensinogen, a precursor molecule for angiotensin II, which modulates blood pressure and body fluids. Tissues like the brain, the kidneys, and adrenal glands depend on angiotensin to regulate blood pressure. Angiotensinogen contributes to blood pressure elevation by causing vasoconstriction. Therefore, high levels of this molecule could be found in patients with essential hypertension.

Three different polymorphisms in the encoding gene associate with the presence of essential hypertension:

  • A-6G
  • A-20C
  • G-217

A-20C and G-217 polymorphisms are linked to essential hypertension in Asians and Caucasians, but not A-6G. Extensive literature also links the CC genotype with an increased risk of hypertension.

Preventive effect of reduced sodium intake

Cardiovascular disease and hypertension are multifactorial conditions with a high prevalence in our population. We have discussed the genetic variants that can influence the tendency of developing these conditions. On the other hand, environmental factors, including exercise, lifestyle, dietary habits, and sodium intake, interact with our genetics. Those patients with a salt-sensitive (SS) genotype with a high sodium intake are prone to develop hypertension and CVD than those with a salt-resistant (SR) genotype.

DASH diet:

The dietary approach to stop hypertension (DASH) is the nutritional standard of care for controlling high blood pressure. Indeed, this dietary approach can reduce systolic blood pressure by up to eight to 14 points. It mainly focuses on introducing 6 to 8 servings of whole wheat cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean aminal origin products, dairy, legumes, healthy fats, nuts, and seeds. However, the main focus of this diet is to control sodium intake by limiting it to 2,300mg on the standard DASH diet or 1,500mg in the lower sodium DASH diet.

What foods to avoid to lower your sodium intake?

High-sodium foods Low-sodium foods
Canned corn

Salt crackers

Granola bars


Hash browns

Potato chips


Deli cuts

Cottage cheese




Flour tortilla


Sweet potato

Corn tortilla rice


Beef, lamb






Genetic testing is the easiest way to prevent chronic diseases in the long run. Imagine having a medical screening that provides you with a preventive strategy instead of fixing whatever you already have with a pill? Genetic testing offers a preventative approach while empowering clinicians and patients with a design to improve the patient’s wellbeing. In this particular case, reducing sodium intake can prevent or delay the appearance of CVD and hypertension. – Ana Paola Rodríguez Arciniega, MS.


Schunkert, H et al. “Association between a deletion polymorphism of the angiotensin-converting-enzyme gene and left ventricular hypertrophy.” The New England journal of medicine vol. 330,23 (1994): 1634-8. doi:10.1056/NEJM199406093302302

Xi, Bo, et al. “Association of polymorphisms in the AGT gene with essential hypertension in the Chinese population.” Journal of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System 13.2 (2012): 282-288.

Sun, Jiahong, et al. “Polymorphisms of three genes (ACE, AGT, and CYP11B2) in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system are not associated with blood pressure salt sensitivity: A systematic meta-analysis.” Blood pressure 25.2 (2016): 117-122.

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The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional, licensed physician, and not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and issues that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* 

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. Read More.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*


phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in Texas & New Mexico

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