Recall from the paragraphs above that
sodium is required for nerve impulses
to travel throughout our brain and body.
Sodium’s essential partner in this process
is potassium. Between the two of them,
neurons are enabled to transmit signals
all over our bodies. Plus, potassium plays
an even larger role when one considers
our hearts. In exact, tiny amounts, potassium is required for the muscles of our
hearts, myocardia, to contract. In other
words, potassium must be present in order for our hearts to beat. And even more
important than that is the fact that potassium must be present in order for our
hearts to beat again and again and again!
If levels of potassium are too low or too
high, it can lead to heart malfunction.
Knowing about the chemistry of potassium is vital!
And finally, now, let’s look at our fourth
element of this article: calcium. I think
we all know that calcium plays a major
role in the strength of our bones. We hear
a lot about maintaining our calcium in-
take to ensure adequate bone strength,
of calcium. You might think of calcium
as being like the traffic cop of the neuron
highways of our bodies. Incorrect calci-
um levels can lead to chaos in our ner-
So, is knowing about chemistry important? You bet it is. Chemistry is not just
about labs and glassware. It’s about you
understanding your body and making
good decisions about your health, too!
Do your son or daughter a big favor,
and expose him or her to a good foundation course in chemistry. Being informed
about why things are the way they are
helps them to make good decisions. Invest
some time now while your kids are developing habits regarding what they eat and
the activities in which they participate.
Chemistry is important, and it’s certainly
closer to home than one might think.
Joey Hajda has loved science since he was a
boy. His initial career choice was veterinary
medicine, but after receiving his veterinary
degree, he discovered that he loved teaching
as much as he loved science. Consequently,
he earned a master’s degree in education. His
teaching career has now spanned almost 25
years and has included public school, community college, and homeschooled students—
including his own ten children. He and his
wife, Lisa, wrote Friendly Chemistry: A
Guide to Learning Basic Chemistry (www
. friendlychemistry.com), Friendly Anatomy:
The Bovine Skeletal System (friendlyana
tomy.com) and soon-to-be released,
Friendly Biology ( www.friendlybiology.com).
Table salt is obviously
not going to result in
any big explosions
when mixed with water.