Preventing salt toxicity
Larry L. Berger, Ph.D.
Salt and Trace Minerals newsletter
Winter 2008 (Vol. 40, No. 1)
Sodium and chloride are essential for life and salt is an excellent source of these nutrients. Almost anything can become toxic at some level or under unique conditions, and salt is no exception. Water and/or salt deprivation are commonly associated with salt toxicity. The critical difference between a nutrient and a poison is quantity and circumstances under which it is consumed. An adequate supply of clean fresh water will almost guarantee that salt toxicity will not be a problem under normal management conditions. Water intake is critical because the kidney is the major organ which responds to excess sodium intake. Plasma concentrations of sodium are controlled by the hormone aldosterone, which controls the amount of sodium reabsorbed from the kidney tubule. The benefits of feeding a well-fortified trace mineralized salt far out weigh the risk of a salt toxicity.
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