BIOL 301 Week 1 Discussion

BIOL 301 Week 1 Discussion

I think you shouldn’t drink seawater due to future health issues it may cause you. Drinking seawater can lead up to severe dehydration and damaging organs like your kidneys and liver. Salt water has a higher salinity that our body is used to regulating, seawater is a hypertonic solution. Through the process of osmosis, you will end up losing water causing dehydration, since more water will leave the cell to process the imbalance. A person in her situation would have to drink more fresh water to create that isotonic balance. The fresh water would allow the cells to help dilute the high salinity level. Also, too much water intake could cause illness as well, putting cells at a hypotonic state. I figured if she drank a lot of water right away those cells would swell and burst, causing water poisoning. “A critical aspect of homeostasis in living things is to create an internal environment in which all the body’s cells are in an isotonic solution.”

The Cellular Level of Organization” from Anatomy and Physiology by OpenStax College is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. 2013, Rice University. UMGC has modified this work and it is available under the original license.

Libretexts. (2021, August 1). 4.3: Osmosis. Biology LibreTexts. Retrieved August 21, 2022, from for Non Science Majors (Genovesi Blinderman and Natale) A Cell Membrane Biology/Osmosis.

You shouldn’t drink sea water since there is a difference in osmotic pressure and the sea water will pull the water out of the cells to dilute the sea water. Blood, while normally isotonic, when it comes in to contact with a hypotonic solution, like sea water, the blood cells loose all of their water to the salt solution. If one were to drink salt water, it can be distilled first via any number of make shift distilleries, for example, you can boil the sea water with a sheet of plastic diagonally hung over the steam, the steam will condense and drip to the bottom, you can catch it in something and save to drink.

Agnew, H., & Alviar-Agnew, M. (2020, June 10). 13.10: Osmosis- why drinking salt water causes dehydration. Chemistry         LibreTexts. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from


Amy should avoid drinking seawater at all costs even if that is the only option. Seawater consumption in humans can be deadly. The reason being is that saltwater is hypertonic to humans, due to the high salinity content in seawater. If it was hypotonic, humans would be able to safely consume it and not have to worry about the cells losing too much water. Hypertonic solutions cause cells to undergo osmosis which is water diffusing through the cells semipermeable membrane causing dehydration and swelling. If seawater had a lower salinity to match the levels of our blood and cells, then it would be considered isotonic, and osmosis would not occur (Betts, Desaix, Johnson, Korol, Kruse, Poe, Wise, Young, Johnson, &Womble , 2013).


Betts, J. G., Desaix, P., Johnson, E., Johnson, J. E., Korol, O., Kruse, D., Poe, B., Wise, J., Womble, M. D., & Young, K. A. (2013). Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax College, Rice University.

Human’s cannot drink seawater to do our organs. Specifically because of our kidneys. The kidney is designed to break down compounds cleaning up the toxins in our drinks and transform that waste into urine. As you know, seawater contains salt/sodium. Humans can easily digest salt but the balance of sodium to water in seawater is hard for the kidney to concentrate. Having salt in our diets is completely safe as long as we have liquids to dilute the amount of sodium, like filtered water. “Human Kidneys can only make urine that is less salty that salt water. Therefore to get rid of all of your excess salt taken in by seawater, you have to urinate more than drink. Eventually you will die of dehydration and become even more thirstier. (Can humans drink seawater)

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BIOL 301 Week 1 Discussion
BIOL 301 Week 1 Discussion

US Department of Commerce, N. O. and A. A. (2014, August 1). Can humans drink seawater? NOAA’s National Ocean Service. Retrieved August 22, 2022, from,even%20as%20you%20become%20thirstier.

The kidneys – a basic guide – NHS. (n.d.). Retrieved August 22, 2022, from

The cell has a semipermeable membrane. This membrane is permeable to water but may restrict some substance/particles due to their size/polarity. Normally, cells maintain an isotonic state- the salinity of the fluid within cells is the same as the salinity of the fluid outside the cell membrane. When you drink saltwater, the concentration of salt outside the cells rapidly increases thus becoming hypertonic. Conversely, the lower concentration of salt within cells relative to the outside makes it hypotonic. In order to have/be in isotonic state, “the water molecules moves out of the cell through the semipermeable membrane” .- process called osmosis (OpenStax College, 2013, p. 92). For this reason, if Amy decide to drink salt water, she’ll end up being more dehydrated because instead of the cells retaining more water molecule, they will be discharged as urine/sweat.

OpenStax College. (2013, June). Anatomy and Physiology.  Retrieved from Connections Web site

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