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What Does Salt Do to Cells?

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What effect does salt have on cells?

John from Florida

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Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Janice C. [18]12/06/2008

Please tell us this is not a homework question.

By Linda12/04/2008

How Salt Effects the Body
Salt which is also known as sodium is in your blood naturally. When additional salt is consumed, it absorbs into your blood stream. When the salt gets absorbed into your blood it makes your blood saltier than it should be. When the salt runs through your body and comes into contact with your cells, the salt in your blood makes the fluid on the outer part of your body's cells saltier then the cells that are meant to be. The cells notice this change immediately. As a reaction the cells pull water out of the cells for protection. The cells in turn try to hold on to the water and then tell the brain of the change in quality of the water around them due to the additional salt that is added. When the brain notices that there is too much salt, the brain needs to sponge out the extra salt to prevent any harm. The way your brain does this is by obtaining water from having you feel thirsty. Another way your body gets rid of the extra salt is by slowing down the production of urine and retaining more water.

The constant balance of salt and water in the blood manages our blood pressure. Consuming salt isn't necessarily a bad thing; it just needs to be correctly proportioned throughout your diet. http://www.associatedcontent.com/ar ... 08247/how_salt_effects_the_body.html

How does a high consentration of salt affect cells?
You are looking at a hypertonic solution, where there is a higher amount of salt outside the cell than there is inside the cell. The water inside the cell will diffuse out, which causes the cell to shrink. This is why your fingers shrivel in the bathtub.

The opposite will happen in a hypotonic solution. The cell has more salt than the outside, and the water will diffuse into the cell, causing it to swell. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_does_ ... h_consentration_of_salt_affect_cells

RE: What Does Salt Do to Cells?

By Mary12/04/2008

Depends on the salt, and, everything and all else consumed - I use pink salt - the minerals are in it - any kind of pure white salt is refined and the good things are removed -

By Carol in PA (Guest Post)12/03/2008

I think the first post is excellent. I just wanted to remind you that if consumed, salt causes cells of the body to retain water.

By Jill [4]12/02/2008

If unprotected cells are exposed to salt, or a salt water solution where the concentration of the salt is greater than the concentration in the cellular fluid; the water in the cells will be drawn out, "shrivelling" the cell.

Similarly, if unprotected cells are placed in pure (unsalted) water, water will be absorbed into the cell, causing it to swell. This accounts for the "pruney" wrinkles we get on our fingers and toes if we are in the water a long time. (The cells in our skin absorb extra water and expand, so they won't "lay flat".)

Luckily, because we have skin, our cells are not as vulnerable in our bodies as unprotected cells in a petri dish are. However, exposure to salt externally can cause dry skin, etc., and too much salt taken internally can cause a variety of problems.

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