Monday April 22, 2019

Salty Diet Reduces Thirst, Increases Hunger

The new results showed something different: salt stayed in the urine, while water moved back into the kidney and body

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salty diet
The results confirmed that eating more salt led to a higher salt content in urine. Higher amounts of salt also increased overall quantity of urine. Pixabay

A salty diet causes people to drink less water while increasing hunger due to a higher need for energy, suggests new research.

The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, are based on a study carried out during a simulated mission to Mars.

“Cosmonauts” who ate more salt retained more water, were not as thirsty, and needed more energy, the results showed.

What does salt have to do with Mars? Nothing, really, except that on a long space voyage conserving every drop of water might be crucial.

The researchers said that the findings should be applicable whether a body is being sent to Mars or not.

In the study carried out by Natalia Rakova from Max-Delbrueck Centre for Molecular Medicine, Berlin in Germany and her colleagues, the participants were two groups of 10 male volunteers sealed into a mock spaceship for two simulated flights to Mars.

Salty food
Salty food. Pixabay

The first group was examined for 105 days and the second over 205 days. They had identical diets except that over periods lasting several weeks, they were given three different levels of salt in their food.

The results confirmed that eating more salt led to a higher salt content in urine. Higher amounts of salt also increased overall quantity of urine.

But the increase was not due to more drinking — in fact, a salty diet caused the participants to drink less. Salt was triggering a mechanism to conserve water in the kidneys.

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“This water-conserving mechanism of dietary salt excretion relies on urea transporter-driven urea recycling by the kidneys and on urea production by liver and skeletal muscle,” the researchers said.

Before the study, the prevailing hypothesis had been that the charged sodium and chloride ions in salt grabbed onto water molecules and dragged them into the urine.

The new results showed something different: salt stayed in the urine, while water moved back into the kidney and body. (Bollywood Country)

Next Story

Experts Call Next UN Food Chief Must Tackle Rising Hunger and Climate Change Threats

Levels of hunger have grown for the past three years, with one in nine people — or 821 million — worldwide without enough to eat, due to drought, floods, conflict and economic slowdowns

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UN, hunger, climate change
Nepalese children wait for the food to be distributed as they sit next to their houses damaged in a rainstorm in Bara district, 125 kilometers (75 miles) south of Kathmandu, Nepal, April 1, 2019. VOA

As candidates jostle to head the United Nations’ multibillion dollar food agency, experts called on Thursday for a strong leader to tackling rising hunger and climate change threats.

Levels of hunger have grown for the past three years, with one in nine people — or 821 million — worldwide without enough to eat, due to drought, floods, conflict and economic slowdowns, U.N. figures show.

“We don’t see improvement in terms of poverty and hunger. What we see is degradation and resources that would be lost for future generations. So there’s an emergency,” said Frederic Mousseau, a food policy expert at U.S.-based Oakland Institute.

“Agriculture and the way we produce our food and the way we consume our food has to have a major solution. That’s the key challenge for the new director.”

The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has a budget of $2.6 billion for 2018 and 2019, employs nearly 6,000 people and works in more than 130 countries with governments to reduce rural poverty and hunger.

UN, hunger, climate change
A World Food Program plane takes off from Beira International Airport after dropping off supplies for survivors of Cyclone Idai in Beira, Mozambique, March, 31, 2019. VOA

The four contenders include a European Union-backed French agronomist, who could become the FAO’s first female head of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and an agriculture vice-minister from China, whose global influence is on the rise.

Georgia and India have also fielded candidates for the June vote by delegates from the FAO’s 194 member states.

“There is very much at stake in an election like this,” said Mousseau, adding that governments are under constant pressure “to expand the corporate-driven model of agriculture that is polluting and unsustainable”.

“We need someone strong enough at the FAO to stand against that and to be able to propose a different path which is about farmers and sustainability,” he added.

Rising populism and nationalism

The elections come at a time of rising populism and nationalism with major powers cutting aid budgets, including the United States — FAO’s largest funder.

UN, hunger, climate change
A man waits to receive food aid outside a camp for displaced survivors of Cyclone Idai in Dombe, Mozambique, April 4, 2019. VOA

The current director-general Jose Graziano da Silva, architect of Brazil’s landmark Zero Hunger program, has overseen a drive to push through ambitious internal reforms. His predecessor, Jacques Diouf, served an 18-year term amid donor criticism about inefficiencies.

Times have changed since FAO was founded in 1945, when hunger was the main concern, said Patrick Caron, chairman of the U.N. High-level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition.

“Food security is no longer only a question of food supply but also of nutrition,” he said, as limited progress is being made to tackle malnutrition, ranging from child stunting to adult obesity.

“Now is time for a new deal … We absolutely need a huge transformation of our food systems.”

France’s Catherine Geslain-Laneelle said her priorities would include boosting sustainable agricultural output to keep pace with population growth, building farmers’ resilience to climate change and creating jobs for young rural Africans.

 

hunger, climate change, UN
Levels of hunger have grown for the past three years, with one in nine people — or 821 million — worldwide without enough to eat, due to drought, floods, conflict and economic slowdowns, U.N. figures show. Pixabay

The former head of the European Food Safety Authority also said she was keen to support women farmers.

“Although they are present everywhere in the food system, sometimes women have difficulties to access land, to water, to the forums where decisions are made,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Davit Kirvalidze, former agricultural minister in Georgia said his experience growing potatoes during the difficult period when Georgia emerged from Soviet rule gave him an insight into the needs of farmers, “especially in times of trouble.”

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“Not only did I manage to feed my family but also eventually my community,” said Kirvalidze, who also sits on the board of Washington-based non-profit Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture and advises Georgia’s prime minister.

Representatives from the embassies of India and China did not respond to requests to interview their candidates. (VOA)