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December 1965

Electrolyte Excretion in Subjects Fasting in Tropical Environment

Author Affiliations


From Gorgas Hospital, Canal Zone.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;116(6):866-870. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03870060064013

RECENT.ECENT observations have established that fasting patients excrete more sodium than do patients on low sodium, calorie-adequate diets, and that this natruresis can be abruptly terminated by the ingestion of glucose.1-3 The cause of this increased sodium loss and the mechanism by which glucose exerts its sodium-conserving effect are unknown.

Studies performed at Gorgas Hospital, Canal Zone, indicate that fasting individuals in a tropical environment excrete significantly more sodium than do fasting subjects in temperate climates. It is the purpose of this paper to report the results of this study, and to consider their significance.

Materials and Methods  This study was performed on 14 obese subjects, 11 females and three males, who fasted for periods of 10 to 14 days as the beginning of a program of weight reduction. They were selected on the basis of desire to lose weight, willingness to cooperate in the proposed study, and absence