Immunology

Salt could be a key factor in allergic immune reactions

Salt apparently affects allergic immune reactions. A team working with Prof. Christina Zielinski at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has demonstrated in cell cultures that salt leads to the formation of Th2 cells. ...

Cancer

Your teen is underestimating the health risks of vaping

Teens today are more reluctant to smoke cigarettes than their counterparts nearly three decades ago, according to a study released this summer. But parents should hold their collective sigh of relief. The study, carried out ...

Medical research

Can road salt and other pollutants disrupt our circadian rhythms?

Every winter, local governments across the United States apply millions of tons of road salt to keep streets navigable during snow and ice storms. Runoff from melting snow carries road salt into streams and lakes, and causes ...

Neuroscience

Pass the salt: Mapping the neurons that drive salt cravings

While the average American's high-salt diet has been linked to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, the truth is we couldn't live without this once scarce mineral. Salt helps the body balance its water content ...

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Salt

Salt is a dietary mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride that is essential for animal life, but toxic to most land plants. Salt flavor is one of the basic tastes, an important preservative and a popular food seasoning.

Salt for human consumption is produced in different forms: unrefined salt (such as sea salt), refined salt (table salt), and iodized salt. It is a crystalline solid, white, pale pink or light gray in color, normally obtained from sea water or rock deposits. Edible rock salts may be slightly grayish in color because of this mineral content.

Chloride and sodium ions, the two major components of salt, are necessary for the survival of all known living creatures, including humans. Salt is involved in regulating the water content (fluid balance) of the body. Salt cravings may be caused by trace mineral deficiencies as well as by a deficiency of sodium chloride itself. Conversely, overconsumption of salt increases the risk of health problems, including high blood pressure.

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