Craving salt

x011 at Lehigh.EDU x011 at Lehigh.EDU
Fri Apr 21 07:56:23 EST 1995


In article <173868D55S86.SHICKLEY at VM.TEMPLE.EDU>, SHICKLEY at VM.TEMPLE.EDU writes:
>In article <3mok1l$i8d at ns1.faseb.org>
>kathy at ns1.faseb.org (King Kathy) writes:
>>       Does anyone know why someone would CONSTANTLY, year
>>       after year, crave salt and salty foods? It seems very
>>       bizarre. I've heard that infants supposedly crave salt
>>       but have nothing to back that up. Any ideas?
>>       -Kathy King
>There has been a lot of research in this area, concentrating on the
>brain centers controlling salt appetite. Check out research on the
>circumventricular organs and salt appetite.
>TIM SHICKLEY
>SHICKLEY at VM.TEMPLE.EDU
>-----------------------STANDARD DISCLAIMERS APPLY-----------------
Tim is correct.  I vaguely remember reading research in Science on
salt perception.  If my memory is correct when the nerves for salt
perception were blocked a standard stimuli of salt increased perception of salt.
If a deficiencies of salt was introduced nerve cell used for other
taste were called into play to strengthen the signal of salt perception.
I am not sure if they were sweet or sour.  Cl- may act as an inhibitory
system so a decline of signal level could be interpreted as more salty.
Naturally the Na+ must be producing a signal also.  It could increase the
strength of wave oscillation.
Assuming this is true, then a unique combination of inhibitory signals of
a specific type and excitatory signals could result in constant craving
for salt.  Ron Blue x011 at lehigh.edu

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