News tagged with sodium

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'Missing mutation' found in severe infant epilepsy

Researchers have discovered a "missing mutation" in severe infant epilepsy—long-suspected genetic changes that might trigger overactive, brain-damaging electrical signaling leading to seizures They also found early indications ...

Mar 20, 2018
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Quinn on Nutrition: Sodium: How low can we go?

As with much of this science of nutrition, experts don't always agree on what's best for us. Not that they don't have good information. Sometimes we have lots of valid data. But Mr. Jones' response to a dietary change may ...

Mar 02, 2018
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Heart issues affecting younger people

Many of the heart disease risk factors are the same for everyone. Lifestyle choices, such as lack of exercise, obesity, smoking and drinking alcohol excessively, are risk factors that affect many adults. But Dr. Regis Fernandes, ...

Feb 23, 2018
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Blood sodium levels may affect cognition in older adults

A new study has found that lower level of sodium in the blood—known as hyponatremia—is linked with declines in cognitive function with advancing age. The results, which are described in an upcoming issue of the Clinical ...

Feb 08, 2018
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Sodium

Sodium (pronounced /ˈsoʊdiəm/) is a metallic element with a symbol Na (from Latin natrium or Arabic natrun) and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals within "group 1" (formerly known as ‘group IA’). It has only one stable isotope, 23Na.

Elemental sodium was first isolated by Sir Humphry Davy in 1806 by passing an electric current through molten sodium hydroxide. Elemental sodium does not occur naturally on Earth, but quickly oxidizes in air and is violently reactive with water, so it must be stored in an inert medium, such as a liquid hydrocarbon. The free metal is used for some chemical synthesis and heat transfer applications.

Sodium ion is soluble in water in nearly all of its compounds, and is thus present in great quantities in the Earth's oceans and other stagnant bodies of water. In these bodies it is mostly counterbalanced by the chloride ion, causing evaporated ocean water solids to consist mostly of sodium chloride, or common table salt. Sodium ion is also a component of many minerals.

Sodium is an essential element for all animal life and for some plant species. In animals, sodium ions are used in opposition to potassium ions, to allow the organism to build up an electrostatic charge on cell membranes, and thus allow transmission of nerve impulses when the charge is allowed to dissipate by a moving wave of voltage change. Sodium is thus classified as a “dietary inorganic macro-mineral” for animals. Sodium's relative rarity on land is due to its solubility in water, thus causing it to be leached into bodies of long-standing water by rainfall. Such is its relatively large requirement in animals, in contrast to its relative scarcity in many inland soils, that herbivorous land animals have developed a special taste receptor for sodium ion.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

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