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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Coffee break #3: Why salt makes you happy?

This is a series of emails written by me, inviting fellow colleagues in the Department of Civil Engineering, UTP for the weekly coffee break. Attendee - lecturers, technicians and postgraduate students.
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Dear colleagues,

Salt is a mineral that is composed primarily of sodium chloride. It is essential for animal life in small quantities, but is harmful to animals and plants in excess. Salt is one of the oldest, most ubiquitous food seasonings and salting is an important method of food preservation. The taste of salt (saltiness) is one of the basic human tastes (OK, I copied and paste this from Wikipedia).

Also, everyone knows that excessive salt will harm you. Illness associated with excessive consumption of salts include stroke, hypertension, ulcers, cancer and even immediate death (if you consume a large amount of it in a short time - about 1 g per kg of body weight – example; if you are 70kg, don’t consume more than 700gm of salt at one go). 

However, recent research published in Journal of Neuroscience, reveals that an elevated levels of salt in the body will lower stress hormones and raise levels of oxytocin, a hormone involved in love and other social connections. The activities in the brain was recorded less active compared with those with normal salt levels*. The compound oxytocin, when elevated (due to increase of salt level), will help to create social bonds, between friends, lovers or parents and children. Stress will be less in social interaction. No wonder that this oxytocin is also popularly known as the “love hormone”.

And the most common food that is associated with high level of salt is French Fries. Now, you know why everyone is happy when they got their Happy Meals at McDonalds!!!

Come down and have a chat for our weekly coffee break.

Day: Every Wednesday (starting 6th April 2011)
Time: 10:10 -10:40am (official time but you can come/leave as you wish in between)
Venue: 13.02.09
What to do?: Bring your own cup of coffee/tea

p/s: * the study was conducted on mice. They were professionals ;)


Thanks.

2 comments:

bofoyengfeng said...

patutla budak2 hepi semacam je bila hingus meleleh masuk mulut..

Abang Ben said...

bofoyengfeng,

Good one hehehe