Stop! Study shows salty snacks reduce thirst, increase hunger

Salt on chips and woman drinking water

Salt on chips and woman drinking water

In first of its kind, a study finds that salty food diminishes thirst and increases hunger, due to a higher need for energy.

In fact, they found intensely savory food quelled thirst, making cosmonauts more hydrated and energetic.

They divided participants in two groups of 10 male volunteers sealed into a mock spaceship for two simulated flights to Mars and were examined for 105 days. Well nearly same diets were given to the two groups, only difference in their diet being in that over periods lasting several weeks, they were given three different levels of salt in their food.

Eating salt is known to stimulate the production of urine, a fact that had many in the scientific community believe that salt makes one thirstier.

Put simply, salt triggered a mechanism to conserve water in the kidneys.

After all, they had thought that salt essentially grabs water in your body and drags it into your pee, leaving you feeling dehydrated and thirsty in the process. However, this study proved that salt was relieved through urination, while water moved back into the kidneys, and the rest of the body.

"What alternative driving force could make water move back?" said Jens Titze, professor at University of Erlangen in Germany.

Experiments in mice hinted that urea might be involved - a substance formed in muscles and the liver as a way of shedding nitrogen.

Their conclusions appear in two papers - "Increased salt consumption induces body water conservation and decreases fluid intake" and "High salt intake reprioritises osmolyte and energy metabolism for body fluid conservation" - in the current issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

In mice, urea was accumulating in the kidney, where it counteracts the water-drawing force of sodium and chloride. Higher amounts of salt also increased overall quantity of urine. Additionally, the participants were also hungrier when consuming higher salt diets, reports MedicalXpress. "Our findings suggest that there is much more to know - a high salt intake may predispose to metabolic syndrome".

"It is not exclusively a waste product, as has been assumed". However, it's a myth that has now been busted in a Mars spaceflight simulation study led by researchers at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the US and the Max-Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine in Germany. Friedrich C. Luft, MD, one of the study's co-authors. That protein is then converted into urea by the liver, allowing the body to better preserve water as the liver excretes the excess salt.

As for what this means for us humans down here on Earth, it could change the way scientists see the human body and how it works.

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