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Salt and Health

 

Salt is absolutely necessary for every living organism.

The foetus develops in amniotic fluid, which is saline, while human milk contains a small quantity of salt.

The role of sea salt is decisive for the sound operation of our body.

As a compound, salt comprises sodium and chloride (NaCl). These atomic elements need to be in balance in all human systems, such as the bones, the blood and other body fluids.

Sodium is a valuable electrolyte, which regulates fluid balance in the body and facilitates the absorption of nutrients, such as glucose and amino acids.

As a compound, salt contributes to the proliferation of red cells (erythrocytes), to the transfer of nutrients into cells and to regulating arterial pressure.

About 1/3 of the total quantity of salt in our body is contained in bones, so that they may remain strong; the rest is in the cells and ensures the acid-alkali balance in our organism.

Furthermore, salt helps fight constipation problems and facilitates the metabolism of protein rich foods. In the case of mammals, salt contributes to the production and secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach; this is necessary for food digestion and for the secretion of gastric fluids.

Salt, just like the human body, is rich in mineral elements. This explains why valuable sea salt trace elements, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, bromide and phosphorus, are absorbed better by our body.   A deficiency of these valuable mineral salts in the human organism changes the balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body.   

However, overconsumption of salt may have negative effects on humans. For example, it might increase arterial pressure or, even, the heart rate. Furthermore, high sodium percentage in the body has an adverse impact on the kidneys, which are the system excreting substances reaching excessive quantities in the body. During the process, the kidneys use part of the water stored in body cells; therefore, any malfunction of the kidneys may result in cellular dehydration.

According to the World Health Organisation, the recommended daily uptake of sodium for the 9-50 year old age group is 1500mg for men and 2300 mg for women. This quantity is equivalent to ½ a teaspoon of salt per portion of food.