Contrary to the popular belief that salty food makes one thirsty, a recent study has found out that salt has almost the exact opposite effect on us, it makes us more hungry instead.
In order to reach the findings, a group of international researchers simulated a mission to Mars. The simulation provided a particular environment in which everything a person consumed could be controlled and regulated.
The researchers then segregated the participants of the study into two different groups, at least 10 male test subjects were put in a cosmonaut-like environment, where one of the groups had to be there for 105 days, and another group for a total of 205 days. Both the groups were given almost the same diets except for their levels of salt consumption.
The researchers after the evaluation found out that more salt in a group’s diet resulted in the participants to drink less water. According to reports, the researchers noted that salt triggers a mechanism in the kidneys to hold onto water and produce urea, which is a process which requires energy which in turn causes hunger, and not thirst bursting the age-old belief.
Commenting on the findings of the study, co-author Prof. Friedrich C. Luft, MD said, “Nature has apparently found a way to conserve water that would otherwise be carried away into the urine by salt.”
The researchers had previously assumed that salt grabbed onto water molecules in the body and pushed them out through urine, resulting in a person to thirsty and drink more in want of more water. However, the current study found out that the salt was expelled through urination while the water was moved backwards into the kidneys and the body for storage.
The findings of the study were published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.