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The Salt We Eat

Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Medicine. Anything human!

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The Salt We Eat

Postby winston879 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:06 am

Most organisms don't eat salt [NaCl ] although they don't suffer from any deficiency.
Then is really required to eat the salt? When Did the humans begin to eat salt ?
I have heard of some elephants digging caves to eat some minerals which are really required , but I think we eat NaCl only for taste . What do you think?

I think as we are taking extra doses of salt and extra salt consumption is harmful .
Although no any harms are being observed [ atleast by me] . So, have we become
able to sustain the disadvantages of extra salt consumption in the course of time?

And if we find that extra salt consumption is not required and it is harming us , then would we stop taking extra salt doses ? Is it in our hands now?
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Postby JackBean » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:31 pm

well, I think the mammalians quite often eat some kind of minerals, just remember they get salt in the feeders in winter. We need both Na+ and Cl- e.g. for nerve impulses and they are excreted all the time. And I guess it's more convenient to get your bread salted than eat some stone :lol:
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Postby biohazard » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:25 am

The reason why we like the taste of salt so much is probably the fact that during the evolutionary history humans often lacked sufficient amounts of salt, and thus "salty food" was a very good thing -> evolutionary good thing to like the taste of salt in food.

All mammals require salt in some form, and many eat it actively e.g. by licking salty minerals in the nature. Other organisms require Na+ and Cl- ions as well and they also have means to obtain them from their environment as well.

And no, (as a species) we have not had time to become able to sustain the disadvantages of eating too much salt: excess salt increases the blood pressure, which in turn causes circulatory problems over a long time (years or usually decades). Some people have naturally low blood pressure levels and thus can also sustain more salt in their food - perhaps they now have some kind of evolutionary advantage and in the future people have lower natural blood pressure. However, since high blood pressure exerts its harmful effects almost exclusively on humans that have already passed their reproductive age long ago, the evolutionary benefit of low blood pressure is likely to be small even if it increased the average life-span of those humans who posses that trait.
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Postby angel92 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:03 am

Agree with Jack Bean
actually we need sodium and chloride for the nerve impulse
and humans like some spicy dishes
and human like to eat salted foods :D
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