Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Salt of the earth

If you're worth your salt as a teacher, you're often struggling to come up with informed answers to students questions.

In the typical A&P course, students get the message that sodium and chloride are essential to life. In fact, throughout the course they learn about many of the central roles these ions play in the function of the human body.

It's no wonder that salt has played such a central role in human history. Which reminds me of a great book I listened to (it was the audio version) a couple of years ago. Salt: A World History (by Mark Kurlansky) ought to be on your list of "must read books for A&P professors."

Besides learning about salt, you'll also come away with an appreciation of the interconnectedness of things.

If nothing else, it will give you a lot of anecdotes and factoids that you can use in your A&P class.

One of the questions that I often get in class is, "if salt [or sodium] is so essential to life, why is it bad for you?" Wow, what a great teaching moment! I can help bring the student to a higher level of thinking by dissecting the false choice of "good" and "bad" in this case and revealing the "gray."

But of course, what is the latest story on the role of salt in creating hypertension (HTN) or other problems? Check out this recent article from the LA Times to help sort out the latest thinking on this one:

Salt and high blood pressure: New concerns raised
by Emily Sohn
Los Angeles Times online, 27 October 2008
[Article summarizing the link between HTN and salt]

Here's a FREE video that does a good job of outlining some central ideas about salt's health connections:

[The video may not appear in your news feed or emailed newsletter. Go to The A&P Professor blog to access the video viewer. Go to The A&P Professor website to learn how to embed the video in your PowerPoint or webpage . . . or simply link to it from your own email or webpage.]

For additional FREE resources, visit the expanded version of this article at The A&P Professor website.

Want to check out that Salt book I recommended? Click the Amazon link below to see reviews or to download the audio version.

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