Effect of Salt on Health
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Salt is an important chemical component in animal diets. It gives taste to foods. Thus, it makes it enhances the realizing of taste in several foods. However, its major function in the body is to help regulate the content and amounts of liquids in the body. It facilitates the maintenance of an appropriate quantity of water in the body. The sodium ion content in the compound also acts to make active the electrical signals in the nervous system.
From the introduction, it is evident that this compound is of relevance to the body of any animal. However, use of excessive amounts of salt has its side effects, both long term and short term. The effects are sometimes severe if not controlled early enough. They can lead to death and long-term suffering. Only appropriate quantities should be consumed lest the adverse side effects and statistics take their toll. Thus, a major hypothesis is that excessive salt is harmful to health. In order to ascertain this, a research is conducted that entails studying the health of snails upon being fed with food containing different quantities of salt. The study would be critical in highlighting the harmful effects of consuming excessive quantities of the compound.
Relevance of the Testable Question
While the majority of citizens and the general public know something about the consumption of salt, it is not until recently that a series of events sparked by alarming data released by medical institutions that a great deal of attention has been given to this not so widely spoken of topic body. On general terms, salt consumption is viewed as a necessity. However, consuming large amounts of salt could harm the health of the users. Thus, the question: does excessive consumption of salt affect the health of consumers negatively, is put into consideration. The testable question is significant in studying the effects of salt among animals. Hence, the question is critical in health circles as it borders on issues that affect healthcare. Governmental and non-governmental healthcare providers would also find this question useful.
High intake of salt has been blamed for causing swelling and water retention in the body. When there are big quantities of salt in the body, the kidney is under so much pressure to maintain the electrolyte solution. This leads to overworking of the kidneys, an aspect that exposes it to failure. Hence, it cannot effectively perform the duty of regulating the amount of water in the body. Since the kidney cannot cope with the high levels of salt, it becomes unable to draw the water in the body as fast as it ought to be. This therefore leaves much water in the body causing water retention and swelling in the bodies of the victims. This is a health risk to individuals.
Too much content of salt is also said to cause high blood pressure in the body. High levels of salt may cause an increase in the force of blood moving through the body. The heart is therefore, required to have the energy to perform this extraneous exercise. The body is also under much pressure to get an adequate supply of oxygen in order to pump the blood to the various organs of the body where it is required. This is a major health risk as it poses a great danger upon the victims’ lives.
Excessive consumption of salt content, no doubt leads to heart diseases. Due to the hypertension, the heart has to work extremely hard in order to satisfy the body’s needs of an adequate supply of blood. Blood carries all the necessary nutrients required by the body. Where the heart fails to meet such a vital demand, oxygen, which is another vital component, is not availed to the body organs. This can lead to immediate death of an affected animal. Therefore, this presents a dire situation on the health of organism. Moreover, in this case, the heart is burdened with the duty of supplying blood to the rest of the body. Such makes the heart develop complications due to heavy demands. Where the pressure on it is too much, coupled with poor attention to the condition, the heart is likely to have even more serious complications. Given the relevance of the heart as an organ of the body, any such ailments require urgent care and treatment lest the victim lose their lives. This is because with an unhealthy heart on non-functioning, the duties to be performed are not done. This unfortunately leads to the loss of lives. This is because the body can no longer meet its needs, as blood is not sufficiently supplied to the necessary organs to facilitate an appropriate body functioning.
Stroke is a disease that is also caused by the consumption of excessive salt content. Where the body of an individual suffers from hypertension, there is a huge demand for oxygen in the body. This demand leads to failure by the body to contain excessive fat deposits along the arteries. These deposits of cholesterol block the arteries which carry blood to various parts of the body. This worsens the state of the body by hindering the flow of blood that the body requires (Taylor, 2010). Where the arteries are blocked, bursting is possible. This condition is referred to as stroke. It may lead to death if not attended to appropriately. This therefore calls for caution in the amounts of salt content in any foods consumed. This would allow for the control of any diseases that may be caused by the excessive use of salt and thus afford to have control measures early enough and thereby ease containing the ailments and contain them. This would save on money and afford good health, which is necessary for humans to go about their duties.
In acute effects, too much or too little salt in the body leads to swelling, high blood pressure heart diseases and muscle cramps. It can also lead to dizziness or electrolyte disturbances, which may cause a situation known as neurological condition. This condition is deemed dangerous as it may cause death to the victim. Drinking of too much water without sufficient salt content leads to water intoxication. Confusing salt with sugar leads to instant death, if consumed in excess. This is when it reaches a level of one gram per kilogram of body weight. Emergence of these health problems would adversely affect one’s way of life. It may curtail the activities, which one engages in as he, or she goes about their daily chores in order to earn a living thereby underlying the importance of maintaining a good health. Therefore, this shows that only appropriate quantities of salt are beneficial to the body without causing any harmful effects to the health of the body. A balance must therefore, be struck that would have regard for the need to equip the body with the necessary minerals fir its efficient functioning and the need to realize that excessive or unavailable amounts of salts would present challenges to one’s health. The aim should be to have amounts of the salt content that guarantee health and proper functioning of the body.
From the above discussion, it has been revealed that it is important to consume salt but only within the reasonable amounts as directed by health experts. In case of excessive use, the consequences are dire. Therefore, the content of salt in the bodies of animals is vital but must be regulated to ensure it remains within the limits that do not compromise the health of the users. Where it is consumed as advised by the medical fraternity, good health is guaranteed to consumers. Where the expert advice is ignored, and excessive amounts consumed the health hazards call for immediate attention or else lead to both short-term and long-term suffering upon the victims. The use of salt must therefore be in respect to the need for healthy living through consumption of the correct amounts as guided by the doctors. Apart from the negative effect associated with overuse, salt is an important component that is necessary for the well functioning of the human body.
Conducting an experimental research is critical in knowledge creation. The following steps are used in the research process. The first step entails conducting a review of existing literature on the topic. The literature review facilitates an understanding of what other scholars have done regarding the topic. This improves familiarity. In the current study, a broad path is taken in examining the topic.
In the second stage, a researcher defines the objectives of a study. The step requires that a researcher is specific regarding what is being studied. In line with the second step, the hypothesis being reviewed is that excessive consumption is harmful to health of animals. The hypothesis must be clear so that it can be tested. In addition, the hypothesis should be adequate to explain the phenomenon under study. Other issues border on the ability to facilitate further research. More importantly, the hypothesis must remain simple.
In the third step, a population is specified on which the research is carried out. In the current research, the population consists of snails in a zoo. In the subsequent step, an evaluation of the probability of testing the hypothesis is considered. A researcher must be certain that the experiment must be adequate to facilitate testing of the hypothesis.
For this study, I selected 20 snails from the zoo. The snails are placed into groups. The first group is the control group while the second is the experimental group. The experimental group is fed using food that has excessive salt while the control group is fed with food that has the approved levels of salt. The study takes a period of six months in order to facilitate the differences that emerge in the health of the snails.
The reasons behind taking the steps are based on the tenets of scientific discourse. The experimental design is crucial towards determining the differences in health that emerge after consuming salt. In collecting the data, the state of the rats in regards to swelling, body fluid pressure, heart disease and muscle cramps is recorded before the experiment. Then after six months, data on the same variables is collected before a comparison is done. Tools used differ depending on the variable being measured. For instance, body swellings are viewed using the observation approach. On the other hand, fluid pressure is taken using a tool that is similar to the one that is used in measuring blood pressure.
Dependent, Independent, and Controlled Variables
The dependent variables under review include swelling, body fluid pressure, heart disease and muscle cramps. They are classified as dependent since they depend on the levels of consumption of salt. Thus, the independent variable is the level of salt that is consumed. In a way, the dependent variable can also be viewed as the controlled variable. In this case, the specific controlled variable is the normal level of salt.
Threat Reduction to Internal Validity
There is no absolute clarity regarding the occurrence of variables. Such ambiguity may lead to confusion about cause and effect. This threat is known as ambiguous temporal precedence. Another threat to validity is confounding. This is a threat to causal inference. To be specific, changes in a dependent variable could be attributable to variations in a third variable that is associated with the manipulated variable. Such spurious associations may undermine hypothetical statements. To reduce threats to internal validity, I will determine the temporal precedence before the experiment. I will do this based on a review of previous literature. Secondly, the use of a control experiment would help in mitigating the chances of spuriousness in the research.
The study hypothesis is: excessive consumption of salt negatively affects the health of animals. After reviewing relevant literature, it emerges that consuming a high level of salt than the recommended one has harmful effects. Thus, the literature review shapes the development of the hypothesis. In practice, it is hypothesized that consuming large amounts of any substance is unhealthy. Thus, common sense also plays a role in coming up with the hypothesis.
In conclusion, it is evident that snails that were fed on food containing high levels of salt reflected a bigger tendency towards unhealthiness. This is because the snails fed with higher levels develop more swellings. In addition, they register a bigger increase in fluid pressure. Thus, the hypothesis that consumption of high levels of salt is harmful is confirmed. The best way to validate the results of the experiment is replicating the study in order to ascertain the findings.