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 Salt vs. Sodium
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Doomar
SFN Regular

USA
714 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2005 :  21:59:11  Show Profile  Visit Doomar's Homepage Send Doomar a Private Message
Anybody out there have scientific knowledge about sodium chloride (salt) use? I've heard we need sodium, but the chloride part we don't, so some say it's bad, but those who reduce sodium intake seem to get other health problem. Any thoughts?

Mark 10:27 (NKJV) 27But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2005 :  22:19:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think the body breaks up the NaCl (sodium chloride) into its components, Na and Cl. Rather it uses salt as a whole. One of the uses is with the kidney and controling the amount of water in the blood stream. This is why when you eat salt, you get thirsty.

There is always too much and too little of anything. Eating a piece of iron won't do you any good, but neither will eating absolutely no iron at all (although you need a very small amount every day). Same goes for salt. Too much is a problem. But so is too little.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Doomar
SFN Regular

USA
714 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2005 :  22:27:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Doomar's Homepage Send Doomar a Private Message
thanks, Ricky!

Mark 10:27 (NKJV) 27But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2005 :  22:36:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
If you look up "chloride channels," I'm sure you'll find all sorts of info on how important ionized chlorine is to cell function. Note also that "salt substitute" is potassium chloride.

According to Merck, the RDA for both sodium and chloride is 1,000 mg per day. There's an upper limit of 2,400 mg on sodium, but no upper limit defined for chloride (more than the body needs should be filtered out by the kidneys).

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2005 :  22:39:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Ricky, if I'm not mistaken, NaCl disassociates in solution (in water) into Na+ and Cl- without any help at all. And as far as I know, the body doesn't use NaCl for anything, but uses Na+ and Cl- for separate (but interdependent) processes. There are sodium channels and chloride channels, but no NaCl channels.

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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2005 :  22:49:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
Our bodies use both sodium and chloride. Both dissolve into ions called electrolytes in water and do not return to sodium chloride molecules until the liquid evaporates. Your body has mechanisms to maintain the correct balance of all electrolytes including sodium and chloride. You can overload the mechanisms by taking in too much salt but we do have a huge capacity to control the balance.

Now, persons with kidney problems cannot get rid of excessive salts so they need to take in limited amounts. Also, since salts on one side of a membrane, (blood vessel wall), will pull water in if the water can move in through the openings but the salt cannot move out. This leads to fluid volume increases and some people have heart problems which bigger volumes in your bloodstream make worse. They have to limit salt. And some people have blood pressure that is sensitive to excess salt so they have to limit it as well.

Bottom line, if you are healthy your body can tolerate a whole lot of excess salt. If you aren't then you have to be careful.
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2005 :  22:51:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

Ricky, if I'm not mistaken, NaCl disassociates in solution (in water) into Na+ and Cl- without any help at all. And as far as I know, the body doesn't use NaCl for anything, but uses Na+ and Cl- for separate (but interdependent) processes. There are sodium channels and chloride channels, but no NaCl channels.

You are not mistaken.
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2005 :  00:04:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
Yea, I'll have to check on my bio notes.

I'll blame this on false memory syndrome

That was a major brain fart, sorry about that Doomar. I did know that NaCl breaks down in water, I'm just not sure why that didn't occur to me in my last post.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Edited by - Ricky on 01/09/2005 00:08:24
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tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2005 :  07:15:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message
According to what I know, a diet with to little salt (specifically, too little sodium) is harmfull. However, too much isn't good either and can give rise to cardiovascular complaints. In the Netherlands the advice is given to be moderate with salt. A normal dutch diet will contain enough salt by itself for most people to live a healthy life, so adding it to your diet is not necessary. However, a normal, healthy person also won't need to go through great lenghts to avoid it.

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-
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Doomar
SFN Regular

USA
714 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2005 :  11:26:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Doomar's Homepage Send Doomar a Private Message
Many excellant comments! Appreciate them all and am learning. Ricky, it's no problem at all.

Mark 10:27 (NKJV) 27But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

www.pastorsb.com.htm
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2005 :  20:49:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
Ricky, it's no problem at all.


Yea, well it is for me for two reasons. One is that I went through hell in my bio class and now I can't seem to find any of my notes. I have nothing to show for it. Two is that I seem to be forgetting everything I learned in that class. I really need to take a bio class in college, there just isn't any room in my schedual at all.

Now the kidney controls the amount of water in the blood stream, correct? What does it use to detect when more water is needed? Does it measure the concentration of particles in the blood stream (such as Na or Cl or some other chemical) or does it do so by pressure in the blood stream? Or something else?

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2005 :  04:36:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ricky

Now the kidney controls the amount of water in the blood stream, correct? What does it use to detect when more water is needed? Does it measure the concentration of particles in the blood stream (such as Na or Cl or some other chemical) or does it do so by pressure in the blood stream? Or something else?

Maintenance of your fluid volume has many components.

First, you have 3 compartments sort of. Inside the bloodstream, outside the bloodstream, and inside the cells.

So fluid balance must occur in all three places. The cells regulate fluid balance mainly by cell wall electrical activity. There are essentially pumps and passive mechanisms that move electrolytes in and out. Water follows by osmosis--moving from places with less attracting ions to places with more attracting ions until equilibrium is reached.

In the bloodstream everything from the brain to the kidneys to osmotic and hydrostatic pressure are involved in maintaining fluid balance. Various nerve and chemical messengers will stimulate you to drink or your kidneys to increase activity. Simple hydrostatic pressure will cause water to leave the blood stream and large protein molecules that cannot escape will cause the fluid to be pulled back in by osmotic pressure further down stream.

The fluid in the space between the cells and bloodstream is moved by the actions described above since that space is on the 'other side' of the spaces discussed. There is also a lymph system of drainage channels that move fluid back to the bloodstream via slow pumping by muscle action surrounding the channels, just as your venous blood is returned. A series of one way valves only allow fluid to go in one direction. So every time you move your arm or leg or other muscles, the vessels are squeezed and the fluid can only go forward.

Then there's your digestive system. Your body dumps a massive amount of fluid into the digestive tract and pulls it back in during digestion. But I think I've said enough for now, don't you?
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2005 :  14:37:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
Now the kidney controls the amount of water in the blood stream, correct? What does it use to detect when more water is needed? Does it measure the concentration of particles in the blood stream (such as Na or Cl or some other chemical) or does it do so by pressure in the blood stream? Or something else?


There are several interdependent regulation mechanisms invloved.

And don't worry Ricky, this isn't a subject of any general biology course, but rather of phisiology.

Just to clarify... the human body makes use of Na and Cl ions. Exposure to either of these substances in elemental form is hazardous. 1000ppm concentration of chlorine is fatal after a breath or two, and you can smell the stuff at around 3ppm. Sodium reacts violently, and exothermically, with water. Neither are anything you want to be exposed to.


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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9672 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2005 :  23:14:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dude
Sodium reacts violently, and exothermically, with water.
And as byproducts you get Sodium Hydrate NaOH (very alkaline) and hydrogen gas (which gets very explosive when mixed with air). In a contained space, you have the recepie for a disaster.

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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2005 :  12:55:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

quote:
Originally posted by Dude
Sodium reacts violently, and exothermically, with water.
And as byproducts you get Sodium Hydrate NaOH (very alkaline) and hydrogen gas (which gets very explosive when mixed with air). In a contained space, you have the recepie for a disaster.



Yes, we played around a bit with this in high school chemistry. Very cool to watch.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2005 :  13:13:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
Yeah we saw some video of a science teacher and his class, they threw a log sized chunk of sodium into a gravel pit pond. It made the sound of a cannon and shot up a few hundred feet in the air when it hit the water, then fell back to the water and repeated the process over and over smaller each time, till it had all reacted.

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"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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