Salt Diet Makes You Hungry Not Thirsty

Posted: Apr 19 2017, 6:06am CDT | by , Updated: Apr 19 2017, 6:42am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Salt Diet Makes You Hungry Not Thirsty
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  • A High-Salt Diet makes its Consumers Ravenous instead of Thirsty

It so happens to be the case that a high-salt diet, contrary to expectations, makes its consumers ravenous instead of thirsty.

Everybody knows and it is common sense that eating salty foods such as potato chips from a bag will make you thirsty like hell. Yet after careful testing by the scientists this hypothesis too turned out to be one of those myths that die hard. It is just not true at all.

The simulated Mars mission for which this hypothesis was tested produced results that surprised even the researchers themselves. Salty food leads to water retention in the Cosmonauts’ bodies and they get hungry instead of thirsty.

Scientists had previously known that feeding someone a whole lot of salt in the form of salty food led to a greater output of urine. It was assumed that the extra fluid came from drinking. This is just not the case.

The Mars simulation experiment tested this supposition and it was found to be lacking in its veracity. Since conserving every drop of water on a mission to Mars will be the ultimate goal of the Cosmonauts, this experiment delved deep down into the mechanics of fluid retention.

Two groups of 10 male volunteers were sealed into a mock spaceship that was supposed to be a prototype of the real Mars mission which is due to fly off to the Red Planet in the future.

The first group remained a total of 105 days inside the spaceship. The other one remained stuck in the environment for 205 days. Their diets were the same except for three different intake levels of salt in their food.

No doubt eating more salt led to a higher salt content in the urine and greater urination as well. Yet the latter fact was not due to drinking more water. In fact, subjects who ate a lot of salty food, drank lesser amounts of water.

The real paradox was that salt was causing the kidneys to conserve water. The salt apparently stayed in the urine while the water moved back into the kidneys and body.

This was a shocking discovery that puzzled the scientists. The mechanism that caused this paradox was urea, as experiments in mice showed so well. Mice on a high-salt diet ate a lot of food.

While the high salt ratio didn’t exactly make the rodents thirsty, it did make them hungry. Urea is not just a waste product in the body. It is in fact an osmolyte.

This is a compound that binds to water and helps in its transportation. Nature seems to have found a way to conserve water in the body even when the organism urinates again and again.

This new data changes our theories about water homeostasis in the human body. The liver, muscles and the kidneys combine to conserve water in the body.

The findings of this study appear in two papers in the current issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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