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Sodium in Instant Noodles: Benefits and Negative Impacts Essay

Effects of Consumption of Instant Noodles Containing Sodium on Human Health

Instant noodles are fast cooking foods which have high content of sodium. Human body requires sodium. This component is present in table salt; particularly, there is 40% of it. Moreover, it has an appealing taste, compared to other minerals. Human body needs sodium to regulate various body properties. It also helps in healthy sustenance of body muscles and nerves, whereby it is highly needed in muscle contractions, nerve transmissions, maintaining pH balance and hydration. Therefore, lack of sodium in the body may lead to high deficiency. However, sodium has negative impacts on the body when consumed in excessive amounts. For instance, sodium in instant noodles is dangerous to the body because of its high content, meaning that consuming such foods will lead to an intake of excessive sodium contents. The current paper seeks to offer an argument of effects of instant noodles’ consumption, containing sodium on health of human beings, answering the enquiry question. The paper also discusses how sodium in instant noodles affects human health and that will reveal that it is only excessive consumption of such foods that leads to adverse impact on health.

Looking at the positive side of instant noodles’ consumption, every human being requires sodium. However, the needs of every human being vary. It has been stated that “factors of age, gender and health status are the key factors to the variations” (Choy, Bee, and Darryl 2). For instance, healthy adults require around 1500 mg of sodium each day, while healthy children need 1000-1500 mg of sodium. The Tolerable Upper Intake level (UL) for adults should be 2300g of sodium a day. This is equivalent to a table spoon of salt. Instant noodles offer more sodium than 2300 mg, when consumed (Doyle and Kathleen 44). Therefore, an adult should not exceed this level of sodium a day, otherwise he or she will experience the negative impacts of sodium. However, other factors might favor the consumption of sodium found in instant noodles.

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Sodium that can be obtained from consumption of instant noodles is beneficial in various ways:

“Sodium in the body plays a pivotal role in muscle contraction, osmic regulation, and fluid maintenance of the body and the enzyme operation” (Doyle and Kathleen 46). Sodium benefits the body in several ways due to its ability to exist in 80 forms. It exists in many forms because it is an ion and can exist as an electrolyte. Sodium helps in preventing and controlling sunstroke. Sunstroke is a human body weakness that comes from the insufficient amount of fluids in the body. The loss of water and salt make the body lose its ability to control body temperatures. Sodium replaces the lost salts by electrolyzing itself. It plays a role in large scale and its ability to exist in 80 forms makes it the most suitable to replace as many lost salts as possible (Graudal, Thorbjørn, and Gesche 13). Therefore, when one consumers instant noodles with sodium, then they are at a high probability of preventing sunstroke.

Most importantly, sodium in instant noodles can be “essential in the prevention of muscle cramps” (Edholm 56). Muscle cramps are common during summer months and occur due to problems in muscle contraction. Sodium is responsible for prevention of muscle contractions. Hydration of the muscles is also a contributing factor to the formation of the muscle cramps. They help to restore the amount of electrolytes in the body. For the prevention of muscle cramps, sodium rich juices and fluids are needed, meaning that instant noodles’ consumption can also be a contributing factor towards solving dehydration.

Moreover, sodium in instant noodles helps in reducing the content of carbon dioxide in a body. Carbon dioxide in large quantities is toxic. Sodium that is found in instant noodles can lead to a reduction of unnecessary carbon dioxide that leads to a toxin called carbon monoxide, hence preventing major problems that can occur (Sizer, Leonard, and Eleanor 34). Therefore, sodium acts as a reducing agent, whereby it separates carbon from the oxide element in the body. This in return helps in the production of oxygen in the body (Graudal 14). Sodium also facilitates the excretion of excess carbon dioxide that has accumulated in a body. That means that sodium in instant noodles can be beneficial, depending on a dose.

  • Furthermore, sodium that can be consumed from instant noodles is essential for brain functions.

Presence of sodium in the body helps to improve one’s concentration. Human blood helps in the distribution of sodium in a body. However, some body parts require more sodium than others. The human mind requires much sodium for its growth and development. It was mentioned that “Changes of the sodium levels in the body affects the brain functions” (Gulia and Vandana 1389). Mind tends to suffer from lethargy, confusion and dizziness once sodium levels in the body are lowered. This means that for proper functioning of the brain, the levels of sodium in the body have to remain constant (Doyle and Kathleen 48). Therefore, rightful levels of sodium in instant noodles can enable the body to maintain its sodium content, preventing mind functioning problems.

  • Sodium also has a crucial role to play in the absorption of energy in the body.

Therefore, sodium consumed in instant noodles can be crucial in enabling the absorption of body minerals. Sodium refreshes the small intestines, enabling them to absorb other minerals. Therefore, sodium is contained in the walls of the small intestine (Sizer 45). Sodium in the small intestine’s walls aids in absorption of glucose, water, amino acids and chlorides. Sodium is also crucial for the re-absorption of the nutrients after the kidney has filtered their excess quantity in the blood (Purwandari, Tristian, and Hidayati 1671). Therefore, sodium in instant noodles can be helpful in regulating and controlling maximum use of nutrients and energy in the body.

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  • Sodium achieves this purpose through its electrolytic property.

When there is a deficit of either of the ions in the body, sodium reacts to maintain a balance between the two ions in the body. “Sodium and bicarbonate help in the balancing of the positively and negatively charged ions in the body” (Sizer 75). Surplus of one kind of ions in the body may lead to adverse health effects. Sodium maintains the balance and, as a result, maintains a charge differential across each cell membrane. Therefore, the nerve cells are kept at a greater ability to send messages. Muscle cells are also able to contract efficiently with not much straining because the rate of osmosis is favorable to the cell membrane. Instant noodles, however, may not be a solution to absorption of body fluids. This is because it contains high quantities of sodium which cause an imbalance in the ions.

  • Sodium is vital in regulating body’s blood pressure that should be at the required levels in order to ensure that the body functions properly.

Therefore, the heart requires adequate minerals to ensure that it regulates the blood pressure. That means that sodium consumed in noodles in right levels can play a crucial role in the maintenance and regulation of blood pressure in human bodies. The heart does not strain in pumping the blood as the blood flows smoothly in the human body. Therefore, this helps in maintaining a healthy condition of a heart. However, sodium levels should not be exceeded in the body, since excess sodium might cause high blood pressure.

Body fluids should be controlled in order to ensure that they are in the right levels. That way, “sodium helps in the regulation of these body fluids. Sodium has a broad application in the circulation of body fluids” (Sizer 77). Sodium facilitates the movement of fluids into the cells. It pumps the fluids into the cells, while potassium carries the by-products out of the cells. Sodium also helps in improving the permeability of cell membranes. As a result, sodium facilitates the smooth flow of body fluids in and out of body cells. Therefore, sodium can be a crucial factor in osmosis. However, excessive consumption of instant noodles is an exception, since it leads to excessive level of sodium in the body that can have adverse effects.

  • In addition, aging of the human body is a factor that is highly dependent on one’s sodium levels.

Sodium helps in refreshing body cells through a regulation of body fluids (Stipanuk 129). Therefore, a lack of sodium in the body leads to aging of body cells and, as a result, one’s capability to engage in tasks is lowered. Sodium is needed for the rejuvenation of the cell membranes. Also, in case the body cells are formed, sodium assists in development of the body cells. Consequently, sodium has been used in manufacturing of the anti-aging creams. Such creams fight the capability to prevent factors that accelerate the aging of body cells. The skin is affected by aging the most (Sizer 89). That means that sodium consumed at the right levels when eating instant noodles can be helpful to the skin, especially in replenishment of body skin cells.

  • Sodium is also essential for the teeth.

That way, teeth need to be maintained in a healthy and clean state (Stipanuk 126). Sodium helps in polishing teeth and reducing odor. Lack of sodium may lead to bad teeth. Therefore, an intake of the sodium chloride through the instant noodles refreshes teeth. It deodorizes teeth from any germs and bacteria. Due to this reason, sodium is commonly used in the manufacture of toothpaste. Sodium chloride makes up a major component of toothpaste. This is the reason toothpaste can clean teeth. However, excessive sodium in instant noodles affects the health of teeth because it is in non-required quantities.

  • Sodium has been an active ingredient in making a healthy skin.

It has a wide application in the development of the skin (Richards 45). Therefore, the skin is highly dependent on sodium products. A common example is the application of anti-aging cream to ensure a refreshed skin. Sodium is used in making skin cleansers and moisturizers. Sodium prevents the skin from drying. Sodium ensures that the skin remains moisturized. Therefore, sodium is referred to as a mild wetting agent in products for sensitive skin.

  • Sodium assists in killing bacteria.

This explains why sodium chloride is used as a preservative in the food industry. The same property favors the use of sodium chloride in the skin cleaning agents. It is most commonly used in astringents and antiseptics in personal care products. Sodium helps in killing bacteria on the human skin, once the antiseptics are used to clean the skin. Therefore, sodium is the active ingredient in making shampoos, cleaning and bath products, make up and oral hygienic products. In addition, sodium facilitates the high viscosity of the fluids used in the cleaning of the skin.

  • Sodium is also necessary to maintain smooth skin.

The property of smoothening the skin is highly favored by the fact that sodium contributes to moisturizing the skin. Sodium that is consumed in instant noodles can act as an inorganic alkaline salt that functions commonly as a skin smoothening agent, buffering agent and acid neutralizer in personal cleaning products. Therefore, the skin smoothening products are manufactured with sodium bicarbonate as a main ingredient (Richards 65). It is effective in preventing the growth of disease causing microorganisms because this sodium additive has anti-bacteria and anti-microbial properties. Therefore, sodium additive is used in manufacturing many baby care products because of its mild nature. However, sodium laurethsulphate is not advisable to use because it contributes to dry skin. It breaks all the oil on the human skin, even the recommended natural oil on the skin that prevents cracking the skin. Therefore, sodium can be consumed in right levels, in order to take care of the skin, meaning that optimal consumption of instant noodles can be helpful.

  • Most importantly, sodium is essential for the healthy hair of human beings.

It helps in maintenance of hair. Sodium chloride is beneficial to the hair and is used in making hair shampoos, as well as conditioning substances. Sodium chloride enhances the viscosity of the washing shampoo. This ensures that the water used to clean the hair is soft. However, excess sodium chloride is disadvantageous, as it causes the hair to dry up as it breaks the human oil. Therefore, excess sodium chloride contributes to drying the scalp. Instead of using sodium chloride in the hair shampoos, sodium laurethsulphate is commonly used. It removes impurities in the hair without side influences or hair irritations. Sodium bicarbonate is used to remove the excess sebum excreted by the skin. Sodium from the inner body also affects the nature of our hair (Richards 71). From the above applications of sodium, it can be deduced that optimal consumption of the substance in instant noodles can be helpful in hair development.

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Negative Factors

In refutation of benefits of consuming instant noodles containing sodium, it has been associated with several negative impacts on human health. Critics argue that the consumption of noodles can add to the health problems that are brought about by excessive consumption of sodium. Noodles put one at a risk of developing kidney stones. Medical analysts have done research on the noodles and have found its dangerous effects. Although, its cooking is energy and time saving, noodles are very bad for one’s health. They can cause heart diseases, kidney problems and also some types of cancer.

Moreover, noodles have also been a decisive factor in the reduction of one’s immune system. Therefore, the consumption of noodles should be avoided. When used excessively as in the case of instant noodles, it has dangerous side effects (Preedy 64). It is, therefore, advisable to consume controllable amounts of sodium. Excess sodium causes a rise in the blood pressure. When one consumes excess sodium, the blood begins to carry much of it and, as a result, its pressure increases. An increase in blood pressure increases the probability of the heart to suffer a heart attack. Therefore, one should consume the required amount of sodium to ensure that blood pressure is maintained to its required level.

Instant noodles may also lead to failing of a kidney (Johnson and Fenwick 89).The high level of sodium in the blood leads to the overworking of a kidney. The kidney functions to clean the excessive amount of sodium in the blood. As a result, the kidney is put at a risk of failing. Failing of the kidney may have adverse effects on the body because the body would be unable to get rid of the waste products in the body fluids.

It has also been mentioned that “sodium, when consumed in excess, may be a threat to the liver” (Errington, Tatsuro, and Deborah 27). It has a high probability of causing liver cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis is an illness that the liver suffers the risk of disintegration due to its corroding. Once the blood containing the excess sodium is passed through the liver, the excess sodium tends to corrode the liver. Therefore, excessive sodium is a great threat to the liver. This proves why instant noodles should not be consumed.

Consumption of sodium in instant noodles also affects the level of water in the blood. The body is unable to get rid of its excess water once there is excess sodium in the blood. Consequently, the body retains its water and increases the blood volume. The heart has to apply more force in pumping the blood (McArdle, Frank, and Victor 45). As a result, the arteries experience more pressure. Therefore, the increased blood pressure can ultimately lead to heart disease, heart failure or stroke.

It can be indicated that instant noodles containing sodium can be consumed in the right quantities and that will be helpful to one’s health. The fact that the body requires sodium means that one can take them at controlled quantities in order to evade consuming them excessively. Excess sodium, as in the case of instant noodles, may affect the body functions. Therefore, sodium is fit for human consumption only if it is consumed in the right quantities.

In conclusion, the consumption of sodium should not be overlooked. One should consume foods that have the required sodium contents. Excess amounts of sodium in the body are hazardous to one’s health. Inefficient quantities of sodium in the body can also be a health hazard. Therefore, one should consume the required amount of sodium depending on the age, gender, occupation and health status. On the other hand, research has indicated that the deficiency of sodium in the body leads to adverse effects. The skin will be the most affected because it would experience aging. The brain’s ability is altered when sodium is reduced in the body. One may experience constant confusion and dizziness. Lack of sodium also hinders the brain from growing and developing. Therefore, one should cautiously consume instant noodles having in mind sodium in the food substance can be helpful at optimal levels, but harmful at excessive levels.


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