Why as we age we should abandon the overly salty food?
The aging process is associated with a number of changes, which cause the body to function less efficiently, including to maintain water-alkaline balance. Studies have shown that as we age, in both animals and humans are compromised in their ability to regulate sodium and water retention in the body through urine formation. In the new study, published in the journal “American Journal of Physiology — Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology”, scientists conducted an experiment on animals, which demonstrated that with age, they significantly disrupted the ability to remove excess sodium from the body during the observance of high salt diet. According to the researchers, these findings may be important for masking the diet of the elderly because they may be at higher risk for negative consequences of a diet high in salt.
To explore the change in the level of aldosterone (a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, which helps control the body’s level of fluids and electrolytes) in response to the flow of sodium, scientists conducted an experiment on animals in the course of which at first they were kept on a low-sodium diet, then a diet high in salt. As a result, the researchers noted that in compliance with salt-free diet for 2 weeks young animals ate and drank more than older ones,with aldosterone level in their body was higher. In turn, by diet of high salt for 6 days, the young animals were drinking and allocated more urine than the old ones. The latter, in turn, drank more water, but it took them more time to raise the level of consumption of water, and they drank still less than younger animals. The increase in the amount of water contributed to the removal of larger amounts of urine, in old animals, the concentration of their urine is also virtually unchanged, which suggests that their body is less efficient at getting rid of excess sodium than the body of young animals.
It is worth noting that in previous research it was shown that aldosterone level decreases with age, and the body becomes less sensitive to changes in diet and exposure to other external factors.
According to scientists, disruption of water-salt balance is one of the major signs of the normal aging process person and includes a decrease in thirst, ability to concentrate urine and excrete water and electrolytes. Usually, the body reacts to the increase in the amount of salt in the diet by producing more urine to get rid of excess sodium. But this response is blunted in older people. Such changes in water and salt regulation can increase the risk of hyponatremia (from water retention) or hypernatremia (due to the delay of sodium) in elderly age, which, in turn, can lead to dysfunction of the Central nervous system and also negatively impact on the effectiveness of medicines, the outcome of surgical treatment and other physiological functions. Although more research is needed in this area, scientists note that as aging is to abandon excessive consumption of foods rich in sodium.