Too Much Salt May Delay Puberty

July 13, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. intake / ˈɪnˌteɪk / (n.) – the quantity of food or drink that is consumed
Example: He needs to lessen his intake of fatty food.

2. behind / bɪˈhaɪnd / (adv.) – being late
Example: He is falling behind his deadlines because of his absences.

3. delay / dɪˈleɪ / (n.) – the state of happening later than planned  
Example: The child’s consumption of unhealthy food caused a delay in his growth.

4. excessive / ɪkˈsɛs ɪv / (adj.) – more than the usual amount
Example: Her excessive alcohol consumption led to addiction.

5. complication / ˌkɒm plɪˈkeɪ ʃən / (n.) – a health condition that makes a disease worse
Example: You should be careful to avoid complications during pregnancy.


Read the text below.
A research presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology claims that too much salt intake may delay puberty.

Researchers from the University of Wyoming [wahy-OH-ming] looked into the effect of too much salt intake on the puberty of rats. They specifically observed three groups of rats—those that had a high-salt diet equal to three to four times the recommended daily amount for humans, those that had a normal, low-salt diet, and those that had no salt in their diet.

Results revealed that the rats fed with a high-salt diet were behind in reaching puberty compared with the rats that had a low-salt diet. Surprisingly, the rats fed with a no-salt diet also had delayed puberty, the study found.

These results suggest salt intake is needed for one’s puberty, but excessive salt intake can delay puberty. A delay in one’s puberty can result in behavioral problems, stress, and reproductive complications specific to fertility.

Too much intake of salt has other health effects. Aside from delayed puberty, excessive salt intake may also cause high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, kidney problems, osteoporosis, ulcers and gastric cancer, and asthma. These health conditions are associated with high levels of sodium, a mineral found in salt.

Excessive salt consumption also leads to a decline in a person’s cognition, a Canadian study revealed in 2011. Too much salt intake can also kill a person’s taste buds, which means a person loses his or her ability to taste the flavor in food.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you now lessen your salt intake after reading this article? Why or why not?
·         Do you think the researchers should repeat the experiment on humans to get more accurate results? Why?

Discussion B

·         What food or drink do you think you should consume less? Why?
·         What food or drink do you think you should consume more? Why?

July 13, 2015