Metabolic effects in rats drinking increasing concentrations of sea-water

Z. Etzion, R. Yagil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


1. 1. Research on laboratory rats confirmed that drinking sea-water when dehydrated, was not beneficial and caused impaired renal function. 2. 2. When the concentration of sea-water in the drinking water is gradually increased there is a gradual increase in water uptake and corresponding urine excretion. 3. 3. At 50% sea-water the maximum uptake and excretion is reached. Following this there is a decline in appetite, water uptake and urine secretion. 4. 4. When on 100% sea-water, the creatinine clearances were greater than on tap water, while urine/plasma osmolalities (U/P) averaged 7. The only higher U /P was found in animals drinking sea-water when dehydrated, i.e. a U/P of 11. 5. 5. The urea metabolism appears to be suited to either the need to conserve body water, up to 50% sea-water, or to guarantee an adequate urine production, from 50% sea-water to pure sea-water. 6. 6. It is suggested that when a man is stranded at sea it is not advisable to drink all the fresh water and then be compelled to drink sea-water when dehydrated. 7. 7. It is better to slowly increase the sea-water uptake. This will prolong the time before sea-water needs to be drunk and result in only minor metabolic changes. Return to fresh water will be followed by an immediate return to normal homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology -- Part A: Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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