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Why Everything We Know About Salt May Be Wrong

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Murph, May 9, 2017.

  1. Murph

    Murph :)

    Fascinating piece on metabolism and salt. I know many of us crave salt. It may be causing us to metabolise fats.

    ...New studies of Russian cosmonauts, held in isolation to simulate space travel, show that eating more salt made them less thirsty but somehow hungrier. Subsequent experiments found that mice burned more calories when they got more salt, eating 25 percent more just to maintain their weight.

    The research, published recently in two dense papers in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, contradicts much of the conventional wisdom about how the body handles salt...

    ...When the crew ate more salt, they excreted more salt; the amount of sodium in their blood remained constant, and their urine volume increased.

    “But then we had a look at fluid intake, and were more than surprised,” he said.

    Instead of drinking more, the crew were drinking less in the long run when getting more salt. So where was the excreted water coming from?

    “There was only one way to explain this phenomenon,” Dr. Titze said. “The body most likely had generated or produced water when salt intake was high.”

    Another puzzle: The crew complained that they were always hungry on the high-salt diet. Dr. Titze assured them that they were getting exactly enough food to maintain their weights, and were eating the same amount on the lower-salt diets, when hunger did not seem to be problem.

    But urine tests suggested another explanation. The crew members were increasing production of glucocorticoid hormones, which influence both metabolism and immune function.

    To get further insight, Dr. Titze began a study of mice in the laboratory. Sure enough, the more salt he added to the animals’ diet, the less water they drank. And he saw why.

    The animals were getting water — but not by drinking it. The increased levels of glucocorticoid hormones broke down fat and muscle in their own bodies. This freed up water for the body to use....

    ...Scientists knew that a starving body will burn its own fat and muscle for sustenance. But the realization that something similar happens on a salty diet has come as a revelation.
    lafarfelue, ahmo, Hutan and 12 others like this.
  2. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

  3. PatJ

    PatJ Forum Support Assistant

    I wonder if that explains some of the benefits that people have mentioned in this thread about feeling better when eating meaty, salty, fatty food.
    Murph likes this.
  4. Tunguska

    Tunguska Senior Member

    The pro-salt evidence is not quite new (including the metabolism effects) and it always made perfect sense to me, but I've tried for years to tolerate higher amounts of salt and my body can't take it. Approaching 3g+ a day, either the sodium or the chloride gives me massive bloating, much worse vasoconstriction, etc. and nothing fixes it except less salt. I think it might be the chloride more than anything but I don't know for sure because I never found a concentrated source of non-Cl sodium to try other than baking soda.
    Last edited: May 9, 2017

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