Chlorine (mineral): symptoms of deficiency and function

Chlorine or chloride is a mineral that mainly occurs in table salt (the trivial name for sodium chloride or NaCl). Together with sodium and potassium, chlorine ensures the moisture balance in the body. A chlorine deficiency does not actually occur. You get enough chloride through food and drink, since there is a lot of added salt in food.

Chlorine


Function of chlorine

Chlorine or chloride is a mineral that mainly occurs in table salt (the common name for sodium chloride or NaCl). Chloride is easily absorbed by the small intestine. It is excreted by the kidneys, which can also retain chloride to maintain and maintain the acid / base balance in the body (the balance of blood pH). Chloride is also found together with sodium in sweat or perspiration. Heavy perspiration can lead to the loss of large amounts of sodium chloride, as well as potassium.

Blood pressure and cardiovascular disease

Together with sodium and potassium, chlorine ensures the moisture balance in the body. The moisture balance has an effect on blood pressure. An increased intake of sodium and chlorine causes an increase in blood pressure and this increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Chloride also occurs in stomach acid, in the form of hydrochloric acid.
Celery / Source: Istock.com/Lecic

Sources of chlorine

Chloride is primarily obtained from salt, such as standard kitchen salt or sea salt. Chlorine is also found in most foods, especially in vegetables. Seaweed (such as dulse (see image at the top of the article), a red seaweed, popular in sea salads, and kelp, another edible seaweed), olives, rye, lettuce, tomatoes and celery, are some examples of chloride-containing foods. Potassium chloride (KCl) is the chloride salt of potassium and is also found in foods or as a 'salt substitute'.

Deficiency and toxicity

Chlorine deficiency

Chlorine deficiency is not common. You get enough through food and drink, since there is a lot of added salt in food. Everyone automatically receives more than enough of this mineral. Even with a low-salt diet, according to the Nutrition Center, you run no risk of deficiency. In that case, the kidneys arrange for the body not to excrete too much chlorine.
Tomatoes at the Mercado da Baixa market in Lisbon / Source: Martin Sulman
Chloride deficiency can be the result of diarrhea, vomiting, or sweating. It can lead to metabolic alkalosis (a too high pH (> 7.45) of the blood, which is caused by a shortage of acid or an excess of basic substances), a low fluid volume and loss of potassium in the urine. This can cause further problems in the acid / base balance.

Too much chlorine

Taking large amounts of chloride (more than 15 grams per day), usually in salt form, can cause problems with fluid retention (= water retention) and disrupt the acid / base balance, although the main problem in that case lies with sodium.

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

Chloride is so easily available with a normal diet that no RDA has been established by the Health Council. Well by it Institute of Medicine an adequate intake (AI) has been established for chloride, which is derived from the adequate intake for sodium. This is set for adults at 2.3 grams of chloride daily.

Video: Electrolyte Imbalance Signs & Symptoms: Sweet and Simple (February 2020).

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