Common misunderstandings about salt appetite
These exchanges are from posts
These are statements from posters there whose
posts contained some common misunderstandings about salt appetite, along
with my explanatory responses:
>>The LCA almost certainly
had a salt appetite.
>>adapted to a particularly
salty diet and acquired even
>>more of a taste for the
Salt appetite and salt hunger
in the face of deficiency is something which evolves in animals which do
not live on diets with a lot of salt.
Animals which do live
on such diets either never evolve such an appetite or they lose it.
>> Of course, if salt is part
of your diet, then you aren't hungry for
I suspect if you
fed a tiger low salt Kibbles and Bits that it
>> would develop a powerful
Feed a cow salt laced silage and
>> it wouldn't have a salt
You are misunderstanding what
is involved in salt hunger and salt appetite.
Mammals which normally intake
an excess of salt do not, according to experimental evidence, possess the
instinctive drive to take in salt.
They either never developed this drive
(or it was lost) because they didn't need it.
>> This 'salt appetite', business
should indicate, if anything
>> that we are somehow used
to more salt than we get via
>> vegetables and not non-marine
ancestry. On the other hand
>> salt is given to cattle
and sheep too, so maybe it has nothing
>> to do with anything.
You've put forward two possibilities
there, and neither is correct.
Animals which exhibit "salt appetite" are
those for whom such a mechanism has had important survival value during
Marine animals, for instance, have never had a need to
search for or crave salt -- quite the opposite.
On the other hand, animals
such as humans, sheep, rats, rabbits -- and indeed most all terrestrial
non-carnivores (carnivores get plenty of salt from meat) -- have evolved
in environments in which this salt appetite was a crucial need, and consequently
they typically exhibit such an appetite.
We, OTOH, are adapted to live
on a low-salt diet, although, as is common with mammals so adapted, we
like salt and sometimes overdo it considerably given the opportunity.