Wednesday, 12 September 2012

How does sodium affect our bodies?

Although sodium is needed by the body for various functions such as electrolyte balance, the movement of products between cells and nerve conduction. However, too much sodium has been linked to conditions such as high blood pressure and other heart diseases.

In July, the University of Alberta in Canada released a press release with findings which may explain why high sodium levels have also been linked to osteoporosis and kidney stones. The full study was published in the American Journal of Physiology- Renal Physiology.

It was discovered that consuming too much salt on a regular basis, slowed down sodium absorption so any potentially harmful excess passed through the system. It was suggested that this natural decline in absorption may also affect calcium absorption. After further research, researchers believed this to be the case.

The findings from the study suggest that when the body tries to remove sodium in the urine, it also excretes calcium. Calcium is needed for bone strength and density which could explain why a salty diet can cause osteoporosis. Kidney stones are formed by an excess of calcium in the urine so this may explain their formation.

The recommended amount of salt per day is 6g which is approximately a teaspoon. Salt is often found in hidden food sources such as bread, cereals and ready made sauces. Where possible try to make your own and of course, if you want to add salt to food, swap it for Seagreens Culinary Ingredient or the Mineral Salt.

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