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Natriuretic peptide – meaning, action, deficiency, excess

15 March 2023
Natriuretic peptide, NT-pro-BNP, BNP, ANP
Natriuretic peptide, one of the few hormones secreted by the heart, is another hormone described by experts collaborating with ONSEN® in response to readers' requests on the best sleep blog.

As with almost every hormone, even the slightest disturbance in the levels of natriuretic peptide can result in dysregulation of the entire hormonal system. Our biopsychosocial functioning throughout the day and the possibility of having comfortable and restorative sleep at night depend on this system.

That's why it's important to know not only what natriuretic peptide is, but also what its actions are. This allows us to anticipate the risks of deficiency or excess of natriuretic peptide and identify potential symptoms of disorders at an early stage.
Natriuretic peptide, obesity, heart failure, coronary artery disease

Natriuretic peptide – meaning

Natriuretic peptide is one of the key hormones regulating the functions of the cardiovascular system. It is primarily synthesized in the cardiac muscle cells, particularly in the heart's atria. Natriuretic peptide plays a significant role in maintaining blood pressure balance and the homeostasis of body fluids.

The synthesis of natriuretic peptide is based on a tightly regulated metabolic pathway. This process begins with the enzymatic conversion of the prohormone that acts as a precursor to natriuretic peptide into its active form. Its release increases in response to elevated blood pressure and atrial stretching.

The normal range of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) in the blood for adults is below 35 pg/ml, while for NT-proBNP it is below 125 pg/ml. In pregnant women, these norms may be below 100 pg/ml for BNP and below 300 pg/ml for NT-proBNP.
Hypertension, bradycardia, tachycardia, thrombosis

Natriuretic peptide – action

Natriuretic peptide plays a significant role in regulating various physiological processes. Its action is complex and involves different systems and organs in the human body. Additionally, it exhibits antiplatelet, anti-inflammatory, and antifibrotic effects. Natriuretic peptide also inhibits the proliferation of smooth muscle cells in blood vessels, contributing to the maintenance of proper vascular structure and reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. It also influences the function of the digestive system by regulating intestinal motility.

The action of natriuretic peptide also involves the regulation of blood pressure through vasodilation, which leads to a decrease in vascular resistance and arterial pressure. This is associated with its ability to increase the excretion of sodium and water by the kidneys, resulting in a reduction in circulating blood volume. It thus plays a role in the control of fluid balance. By stimulating urine secretion, natriuretic peptide contributes to the removal of excess fluids from the body, which is important in cases of volume overload and heart failure, as well as any other conditions where fluid retention occurs.

It is worth noting that the level of natriuretic peptide in the blood can be used in the diagnosis of various disease states such as heart failure, hypertension, and pulmonary embolism. Elevated blood levels of natriuretic peptide may indicate cardiac burden and improper blood pressure regulation.
Atherosclerosis, natriuretic peptide, sleep disorders, mattress for the patient

Natriuretic peptide – deficiency

Deficiency of natriuretic peptide may be associated with impairments in the cardiac muscle, where it is synthesized. The most commonly observed causes of natriuretic peptide deficiency include:
  • heart failure;
  • coronary artery disease;
  • renal insufficiency;
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
  • hypothyroidism;
  • overweight or obesity;
  • imbalanced diet;
  • improper sleep hygiene.
Persistently low levels of natriuretic peptide in the blood are not desirable. The most commonly observed consequences of natriuretic peptide deficiency include:
  • stroke;
  • hypertension;
  • atrial fibrillation;
  • tachycardia;
  • bradycardia;
  • shortness of breath;
  • edema;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • thrombosis;
  • chronic respiratory tract inflammation;
  • cognitive impairments;
  • mood disorders;
  • sleep disorders.
Coronary artery disease, pulmonary edema, heart attack, cardiac arrhythmias

Natriuretic peptide – excess

Excess of natriuretic peptide is most commonly associated with impairments in the hormonal system. The most frequently observed causes of natriuretic peptide excess include:
  • heart failure;
  • coronary artery disease;
  • heart attack;
  • pulmonary hypertension;
  • heart rhythm disorders.
Persistently high levels of natriuretic peptide in the blood are not desirable. The most commonly observed consequences of natriuretic peptide excess include:
  • hypotension;
  • excessive sodium excretion;
  • excessive water excretion;
  • pulmonary edema;
  • anemia;
  • sleep disorders.
Sleep comfort, electrolyte balance, large amount of urine

Natriuretic peptide – sleep comfort

Collaborating with ONSEN®, health and rehabilitation psychologist, Mateusz Nesterok, draws attention to the consequences of excessive natriuretic peptide. While natriuretic peptide is essential for life and plays a positive role, maintaining its optimal level is crucial for good health. Excess natriuretic peptide can cause secondary sleep disturbances directly related to the psychosomatic impact of physical health on mental well-being. The consequences of excess natriuretic peptide can include the development of pulmonary edema or anemia, which can be life-threatening.

He points out that insufficient levels of natriuretic peptide are also undesirable. Decreased levels of natriuretic peptide in the blood can lead to tachycardia or bradycardia, as well as various other cardiovascular diseases.

There are no scientific studies directly examining the influence of natriuretic peptide on sleep. However, as a hormone involved in regulating fluid homeostasis and blood pressure, it likely has an indirect impact on sleep. This is due to the influence of somatic symptoms on overall comfort and well-being. When the body is healthy, fluid homeostasis is maintained, and sleep is more comfortable and restorative.

Maintaining an optimal level of natriuretic peptide in the blood is supported by a comfortable, healthy sleep environment. This requires a functional mattress that provides ideal body support and spinal alignment. Preserving the physiological curves of the spine during sleep and allowing the body to fully relax has a beneficial effect on all its systems, including the hormonal system.

ONSEN® offers the Osaka Air mattress, which is the most functional mattress available on the market. Its jobs to be done include meeting the users' needs and effectively solving problems they have. As a result, it has become a cult product that fulfills all 10 essential mattress functionalities and enables comfortable and healthy sleep. Additionally, like all ONSEN® products, the mattress is covered by up to 15 years of warranty and a program that allows return within 100 days, minimizing the purchase risk to zero.

We also encourage you to read the other articles on the best sleep and health blog, as well as the Encyclopedia of Healthy Sleep prepared by the team of ONSEN® specialists. For people who care about the health of the spine, we recommend a set of exercises for the spine prepared by our physiotherapist.
Foam mattress, high resilience mattresses, mattress return, online mattresses, best mattress, which mattress to choose

FAQ: Natriuretic peptide

What is the role of natriuretic peptide?

Natriuretic peptide is a peptide hormone primarily produced by cardiac muscle cells. It is responsible for regulating blood pressure and the body's water-electrolyte balance. There are three main types of this hormone: ANP (atrial natriuretic peptide), BNP (brain natriuretic peptide), and CNP (C-type natriuretic peptide).

What are the consequences of a deficiency or low levels of natriuretic peptide?

A deficiency or low level of natriuretic peptide can lead to disruptions in blood pressure regulation and water-electrolyte balance. This can result in an increased risk of hypertension, congestive heart failure, increased cardiac load, and worsening of heart failure symptoms. These symptoms may include swelling, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

What are the consequences of an excess or high levels of natriuretic peptide?

An excess of natriuretic peptide can be associated with certain heart conditions, such as heart failure. In such cases, high levels of natriuretic peptide are a compensatory response of the body to cardiac burden. However, an excess of natriuretic peptide can also contribute to disorders, mainly including vasodilation, decreased blood pressure, increased urine output, and electrolyte imbalances.

How to increase the secretion of natriuretic peptide?

The secretion of natriuretic peptide is stimulated by various factors. One example of such a factor is stretching of the cardiac muscle, which can occur in cases of increased cardiac load or heart failure. Medications from the class of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) can also increase the secretion of natriuretic peptide. To increase the secretion of natriuretic peptide in the context of heart disease treatment, it is important to consult a doctor who can recommend an effective therapy.

How to decrease the secretion of natriuretic peptide?

To decrease the secretion of natriuretic peptide and control the symptoms associated with its excess, it is necessary to consult a specialist doctor, particularly a cardiologist. The doctor may recommend appropriate treatment, which may involve the use of medications such as ACE inhibitors or ARBs. These medications help regulate hormonal balance and reduce the secretion of natriuretic peptide.

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