The purpose of the present studies was to examine the effect of ingestion of sodium and potassium salts of various fixed anions on blood pressure, and to assess interactions among electrolytes. In the first study, Sprague-Dawley rats fed on purified diets supplemented with Na salts of chloride, sulphate, bisulphate, carbonate and bicarbonate for 7 weeks developed higher blood pressures than rats fed on the basal diet. In a second study, rats fed on Na or K salts of HSO4, HCO3 or Cl had higher blood pressures than rats fed on the basal diet. Blood pressure measurements were not correlated with plasma volume, plasma renin activity, or plasma atrial natriuretic peptide concentrations at 7 weeks. Plasma renin activity was depressed in rats fed on supplemental Na and even more in rats fed on supplemental K salts rather than the basal diet. Generally, rats fed on supplemental Na excreted Na in urine and absorbed Na in the gut more efficiently than rats fed on the basal diet or diets supplemented with K, but the anions fed also altered Na absorption and excretion. In a third study, rats fed on diets supplemented with any Cl salt, but especially KCI, absorbed K more efficiently than those fed on the basal diet. In studies 1 and 2, the efficiency of urinary excretion of K was greatest when HCO3 and CO3 salts were fed and least when HSO4 salts were fed. Despite large variations in the efficiency of absorption and excretion of Na and K, tissue levels of the electrolytes remained constant.