Salt: nutrient or Toxin?


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Presentation of the final project as an undergraduate student

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Salt: nutrient or Toxin?

  1. 1. Patricia Garrido Torres ID: 0913770 March 2008 Supervisor: Dr Madigan Salt Nutrient or Toxin
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Salt is the oldest and most popular seasoning and/or preserving food in the cooking world. </li></ul><ul><li>Origin: sea water or underground deposits. </li></ul><ul><li>It is formed by two ions: Sodium and Chloride , essential minerals to incorporate in the human diet. </li></ul><ul><li>PROBLEM: </li></ul><ul><li>Currently Excess High risk Cardiovascular </li></ul><ul><li>increase of of of diseases </li></ul><ul><li>the salt intake sodium hypertension </li></ul>
  3. 3. Salt in food <ul><li>Salt is used in food to Enhance the flavor and Preserve . </li></ul><ul><li>Nowadays we must consider ‘hidden-salt’ </li></ul><ul><li>(in Preservatives, Additives, Stabilizers, Emulsifiers…) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Question time??? <ul><li>How much sodium is there in 1g of salt? </li></ul><ul><li>What else is there in salt apart from Na & Cl 2 ? </li></ul>Salt = Na + Cl + ?? 2
  5. 5. The importance of salt <ul><li>SODIUM </li></ul><ul><li>Regulates the water balance </li></ul><ul><li>ATP production </li></ul><ul><li>Cell depolarization </li></ul><ul><li>Aids nutrient absorption </li></ul><ul><li>CHLORIDE </li></ul><ul><li>Participates in the formation of stomach acids </li></ul><ul><li>Preserves acid-base balance </li></ul><ul><li>Aids potassium absorption </li></ul><ul><li>Enhances the CO 2 carrying-capacity of the lungs </li></ul>
  6. 6. Reality of the salt intake The truth: the salt necessities are very small. PROBLEM : So what happens to the excess of salt in our diet? Human ancestors 1 g salt/ day Nowadays More than 10 g salt/ day
  7. 7. Excess of salt <ul><li>Occasional excess of salt: </li></ul><ul><li>The sodium surplus can be easily eliminated by the organism, mainly by the urinate apparatus </li></ul><ul><li>Chronic salt excess: </li></ul><ul><li>The sodium starts accumulating in the blood </li></ul>Sodium holds water Increase of blood volume Heart has to work harder Increasing pressure in arteries Hypertension
  8. 8. Hypertension <ul><li>Persistent raised blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg according to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guideline. </li></ul><ul><li>Chronic disease </li></ul><ul><li>damage & </li></ul><ul><li>With time weakness of </li></ul><ul><li>blood vessels </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendation: cut down the salt intake </li></ul>
  9. 9. Other causes of Hypertension Positively correlated with: Age Body mass index Genetic factors Physical activity Fat / Triglycerides Smoking Caffeine products Alcohol consumption High salt intake + Fatty diet = High risk to develop cardiovascular diseases
  10. 10. Other adverse effects of excessive salt intake <ul><li>Some people are sodium sensitive </li></ul><ul><li>Excessive salt intake can lead to stomach cancer </li></ul><ul><li>Excess of salt ingestion can produce osteoporosis </li></ul><ul><li>Smokers use more salt </li></ul>
  11. 11. What is being done? <ul><li>Most importantly individuals must regulate their own salt intake: Changing lifestyle </li></ul>In 1994 COMA recommends a reduction in salt intake to 6g/ day Recommendations are also in place for children Campaigns to raise public awareness Initiatives by food manufacturers