Chloride Sources and Functions

Chloride Sources and Functions

All of the nutrient minerals work together to keep you healthy and feeling good. Here is a summary of the role of chloride, a major mineral, in your good health.

What a difference!

Chloride is the ionic form of chlorine. As you probably know, chlorine in its elemental form is a poisonous gas, but when it combines with sodium, potassium or hydrogen it becomes chloride, which is essential to good health.

What it does Maintain fluid balance; necessary for digestion in its HCl form
Daily needs
[Infants: 180-570 mg] [Children: 1500-2300 mg] [Men: 1,800-2300 mg] [Women: 1,800-2300 mg] [Pregnant: 2,300 mg] [Lactating: 2,300 mg]
Not enough Unlikely to occur
Too Much Vomiting Upper Limit: 3600 mg
Foods Table salt, processed foods, soy sauce, eggs, meats

*The lower value is for infants up to 6 mos.,higher value is for infants up to a year old.
† The first value is for children 1-3 with the amount increasing until age 18.
# Adequate Intake (AI) is the average amount a healthy person consumes; no RDA established.

Necessary for fluid balance

Chloride is a negative ion, mainly found in the fluid outside of the cells along with positive sodium ions (NaCl). Along with potassium and sodium chloride helps to maintain fluid balance and electrolyte balance.

Aids Digestion

Chloride also is part of the hydrochloric acid in your stomach (HCl), which is essential to good digestion. If you do not have the proper acid-base balance, you will not feel well.

Caveat: Those who suffer from bulimia, an eating disorder characterized by self-induced vomiting, are in danger of upsetting their acid-base balance, since in addition to the food in their stomach, they are also losing the necessary stomach acids. For more information, click on the link for eating disorders.

Interesting Fact: Chlorine gas, by itself, is poisonous, as is sodium, but when you combine them, they form “sodium chloride” or common table salt!

Many foods contain chloride

Chloride as part of sodium chloride is found in many foods. It is particularly abundant in processed foods, and for this reason, it is unlikely that you are not getting enough chloride. Excessive sweating, diarrhea or vomiting may cause a temporary loss of chloride, but actual deficiency is rare.

Toxicity is also rare, although dehydration may cause higher levels of chloride, which is easily alleviated by drinking fluids.

Upper limit

The Upper Intake Level that has been established for adults for chloride is 3600 mg.

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