Salt Role in the Brain

May 13, 2019

In the human body, a bulk of the usage of sodium and carbohydrates occur in the brain. The brain is responsible for 50% and 20% of total carbohydrates and oxygen usage by our bodies, respectively.

Through digestion, carbohydrates are usually converted into sugars and are absorbed with the help of sodium in our blood (the salinity of blood is 0.9%; like saline water) – eventually they are stored in the liver, muscles, intestines or subcutaneous fat cells in the form of glycogen. When we are under extreme stress (due to work, studies etc), the carbohydrates that we consume are often temporarily all used up by our brains.

WHO recommends the daily intake of salt to be 5g – most doctors recommend about 3-5g. However, the study of human physiology clearly shows that the average human discharges about 10.5g of salt per day.

Therefore, if one continues to adhere to a low sodium diet, the sodium content of the body will gradually decrease – over time, this leads to various conditions such as dizziness, fatigue, arrhythmia, kidney disease, cerebral edema, hypertension, diabetes and other diseases of the human organs.

The brain replenishes nutrients and water using a system that delivers sugar and water – referred to as aquaporins. Once a person starts adopting a low-sodium diet as what contemporary medicine strongly recommends, it will lead to the excessive use of sugars in the brains – causing stored sugars (glycogen) to be depleted over time.

The crucial difference here is that human cells (that are not brain cells) allow water and water-soluble substances (such as nutrients, sodium, potassium ions, glucose, amino acids etc) to pass through the endothelial cells of the blood capillaries.

On the other hand, the blood capillaries of the brain cells make use of aquaporins – which are carriers that allow sodium and glucose to simultaneously pass through for them to be used by the brain.

For this reason, it is important to have a healthy amount of sodium to transport glucose into our brain cells – the lack of sodium leads to a lack of glucose provided to our brains. As a result, even when one has eaten just a short while ago and the blood glucose level is at an acceptable level, the brain experiences a lack of glucose and sends signals for one to eat more.

This leads to the vicious cycle of feeling and hungry and eating again – which can bring about an array of conditions like diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and other chronic illnesses.

Therefore, for people who follow a low-sodium diet – even if they control their diets and exercise a lot – chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia are still likely to occur, and the healing of existing conditions are hindered as well.

However, if one consumes enough amounts of salt and adjust water intake accordingly, the blood viscosity will decrease and blood volume will be enhanced, leading to better blood circulation. This is the foundation required for the proper supply of glucose to our brain and the natural healing of diseases.

When a person allows the brain to be replenished with the oxygen, water and salt it requires, it will allow the hormones in our bodies that serve as catalysts to actively play their natural roles to keep our bodies healthy. In addition, as the utilization of glucose by brain cells increase, it leads to enhanced concentration and focus – eventually leading to better learning and working efficiencies as well.

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