How the Human Body Handles Salt

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Submitted By martillis336
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How the human body handles salt
Salt provides two elements that are essential for life and for good health - sodium and chloride ions. They are both elements that the body cannot manufacture itself so it must be supplied by food. Although salt is the most common dietary source for these essential elements, sodium also available from various foods that contain sodium naturally. Sodium is a mineral element that plays a critical role in body physiology. It controls the volume of fluid in the body and helps maintain the acid-base level. About 40% of the body's sodium is contained in bone, some is found within other organs and cells and the remaining 55% is in blood plasma and extracellular fluids. Sodium is important in proper nerve conduction, in aiding the passage of various nutrients into cells, and in the maintenance of blood pressure.
Chloride ions also help maintain proper blood volume, blood pressure, and pH of body fluids. Chloride is the major extracellular anion and contributes too many body functions including the maintenance of blood pressure, acid-base balance, muscular activity, and the movement of water between fluid compartments. Chloride ions are secreted in the gastric juice as hydrochloric acid, which is the naturally-produced acid that is essential for the digestion of food.
Blood pressure
One of salt's major functions is to regulate blood volume and pressure including the flexibility of the blood vessels. When the heart contracts, it forces blood through the arteries of the circulatory system; the pressure required to pump this blood is called "systolic," the "top" number of a blood pressure reading. Between heartbeats, the heart relaxes and the pressure maintained is called "diastolic," the "bottom" number. When the blood volume increases or the blood vessel walls don't expand enough, blood pressure increases. Normal blood pressure is less than…...

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