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Sodium


Sodium is necessary for proper water balance in the body, transition of fluids across cell walls, and maintenance of blood pH. It works in conjunction with potassium for extracellular fluid balances. Sodium is important for proper digestion in the stomach, nerve function, and muscle contractions. Also helps remove carbon dioxide from the body. Sodium is easily absorbed in the small intestine and stomach and transported throughout the body in the blood. Excreted in sweat and excess removed by the kidneys in urine.

FOOD SOURCES

Salt (sodium chloride) present in meat, meat preserves (bacon, ham), seafood, cheese, bread, green olives, salted butter, monosodium glutamate, processed foods, sea salt,

SUPPLEMENTATION

Not required with a normal Western diet unless losses through sweating are excessive (for example during sports training or heavy, prolonged manual labour).

SIGNS OF DEFICIENCY

Agalactia, appetite loss, arthritis, diarrhoea, fatigue, headache, intestinal gas, mental apathy, muscle atrophy, muscle cramps, nausea, neuralgia, rheumatism, stomach cramps, vomiting, weight loss. Deficiency does not occur with a normal Western diet but people who actively avoid salt due to mistaken dietary advice may suffer deficiency.

SIGNS OF TOXICITY

Dizziness, high blood pressure, confusion, fluid oedema. In extreme cases, coma, death.

MINIMUM DAILY REQUIREMENT

500mg approx.

Normal dietary intake may be several grams per day and intake of up to about 6g/day should cause no problems for normal healthy adults..

 

 

 

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