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Stressed parent
44029.  Sun Jan 08, 2006 3:00 am Reply with quote

........ because your skin acts as an impermeable barrier between the your body and the surrounding environment that you are in.

So how about the skin while you are floating in the Dead Sea. Does it become wrinkly like when you stay too long in the bath or does the high salt content have an effect on the skin?

44047.  Sun Jan 08, 2006 7:12 am Reply with quote

QI Individual, while it is laudable that you were wary of Cut_Up_Angel's sources, I feel that this time you have been a little over-critical.

The link was to a charity whose booklets have been commended by the British Medical Association, and who have a close relationship with the Department of Health. A pretty good source in my book.

Even if you did take exception to a particular part of the quote:

A high salt intake also causes other health damage such as greater retention of water in your body, which leads to swelling of the ankles

It does not take much to find this fact in equally reliable places.

The Times:,,8124-1511822,00.html
The Foundation for Science & Technology
The Aussie government
The medical college of Wisonsin

And they were just on the first page of my search.

44086.  Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:00 am Reply with quote

Thankyou Eggshaped...I was just about to post some similar links as well as some journal articles...but you beat me to it...Thankyou

QI Individual
44087.  Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:03 am Reply with quote

The only link that is interesting is the second 'foundation' one. If you read that one you'll see how reluctant they are to say that salt is dangerous.
One contributor described the debate between the invited speakers as a judicial nightmare. Faced with two experts - Professor Brown and Professor Elliott - who contradicted each other and a third speaker, Professor Pickard, who played the part of the honest broker and urged caution, any court would have a hard time deciding whether salt was dangerous.

Do not underestimate the prevalence of 'popular belief' amongst 'health professionals'.

There are two main factors that cause the blurred perceptions here. One is that people apply statistical data derived from large groups to single individuals. This is absolutely wrong. Statistical data about the incidence and prevalence of a certain disease tells you nothing about the chances of a single individual being affected by that disease.

The general population contains healthy people AND people with diseases. If a certain effect only affects the diseased part of the population you would also see that effect reflected in the figures of the whole population but to conclude that the whole population would be subject to that effect would be completely wrong. This can be the cause of a lot of misconceptions.

The other factor mostly left out of the equation is that you should not just look at a person's salt intake but look at it in comparison to that person's water intake.
Every cell and every drop of fluid in our body contains salt (Sodium ions - Na+) and other substances in very specific amounts. The water inside our bodies needs to have these substances dissolved in it in order for it to be useable. Nine grams per litre creates the 'physiological' solution our body needs. That is also the concentration of a 'standard' intravenous drip used as a vehicle for administering drugs or when people are not capable of ingesting fluids.

If you eat a meal containing 9 grams of salt and with that meal ingest a total of one litre of water you supply the body with the exact amount of salt it needs to utilise that litre of water. If a (healthy) body does not need that litre it will excrete it through the kidneys and with it the nine grams of salt returning the body to its previous steady state.

I will only be convinced by hard scientific evidence from well executed research published by real scientists.

Mostly Harmless
44088.  Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:06 am Reply with quote


Last edited by Mostly Harmless on Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

44133.  Sun Jan 08, 2006 12:40 pm Reply with quote

Exacerbation of fluid retention
MacGregor, GA. Salt:blood pressure, the kidney, and other harmful effects. Nephrol Dial transplant 1998 13: 2471-2479

A high salt intake causes an increase in extracellular volume. Cutting down salt intake will help to ameliorate fluid retention.

Excess salt in our diet is the major cause of high blood pressure, which leads to strokes, heart attacks and heart failure- the UKs greatest killers. Salt is also related to cancer of the stomach, osteoporosis, kidney disease, asthma and fluid retention.

QI Individual
44179.  Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:42 pm Reply with quote

The list of publications in the second link is potentially interesting but I'd have to actually read them in order to judge what the findings/claims exactly are and how sound they are. The fact these articles have been published in it self unfortunately is not sufficient proof. The 'Pressure to publish' (35,000 hits- take your pick) for instance can compromise the quality of published results.


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