Sunday, July 02, 2017

Salt and sodium

The most familiar sodium compound is salt. Table salt is actually sodium chloride (40 percent sodium and 60 percent chloride). And sodium is not only found in salt shaker but also in foods and products that have been made with salt or one of its cousins, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

Sodium chloride is an ionic compound with a melting point of 800° C. Within a piece of salt, the ions are arranged in a structure called a crystal lattice, in which each sodium ion is surrounded by six chlorine ions and each chlorine ions is surrounded by six sodium ions. When salt is dissolved in water the ions are pulled apart and can move around.
Sodium is an essential mineral. Its main role is to help maintain the right balance of fluids in human body. It also helps transmit nerve impulses that influence contraction and relaxation of the muscles.

If the kidney can’t eliminate enough salt in urine, sodium starts to accumulate in blood. Sodium naturally attracts and holds water, which increases the total volume of the blood. This, in turn, makes the heart work harder to pump blood through the body, which increases the blood pressure.
Salt and sodium
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