WHAT IS CHLORIDE?
Chloride (formed when the element chlorine picks up an electron from a negatively charged ion) is a macromineral that your body uses to maintain a proper fluid balance and is also essential for metabolism. It represents approximately 0.15% of your total bodyweight and can be found in the fluid that surrounds your cells. In this article I will be discussing chloride in greater detail.
WHEN WAS CHLORIDE DISCOVERED?
Carl Whilhelm Scheele initially discovered chlorine in 1774 and named it dephlogisticated marine acid. However, in the years following the discovery some chemists argued that dephlogisticated marine acid was actually a compound of a new element and oxygen. In 1807 Sir Humphry Davy proved that the substance was a pure element and named it chlorine.
HOW DOES YOUR BODY USE CHLORIDE?
Around 0.15% of an average adult’s bodyweight is chloride. It is stored within the fluid outside the body’s cells. Chloride performs many key functions in the body which include:
– Assisting in the absorption of potassium.
– Assisting in the production of glandular hormones.
– Cleansing toxins.
– Digestion and metabolism (chloride joins with hydrogen to form hydrogen chloride which is a major part of stomach bile).
– Maintaining a proper balance of fluids inside and outside the cells.
– Maintaining proper blood volume.
– Maintaining proper blood pressure.
– Preventing the build up of excess fat.
– Regulating the acid base balance.
– Removing waste carbon dioxide from the body (chloride enables your blood to transfer waste carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs where it is then exhaled).
HOW MUCH CHLORIDE DO YOU NEED?
Generally, adults require more chloride than children. According to this article from Nutritional Wellness the following recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for chloride should be followed:
– Children aged 0-6 years old:- Between 180mg and 300mg.
– Children aged 7-10 years old:- 300mg.
– Adults:- 750mg.
WHICH FOODS CONTAIN CHLORIDE?
Chloride can be found in numerous foods. The list below contains some of the best natural sources:
– Butter:- 1300mg per 100g.
– Cheddar Cheese:- 1060mg per 100g.
– Olives:- 300mg per 100g.
– Prawns:- 2550mg per 100g.
– Table Salt:- 59900mg per 100g.
– Whole Grain Bread:- 860mg per 100g.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF GETTING TOO MUCH CHLORIDE?
Currently there is no recommended upper limit on chloride consumption. However, consuming excessive levels has been linked with the following negative symptoms:
– Breathing difficulties.
– Fluid retention.
– High blood pressure.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NOT GETTING ENOUGH CHLORIDE?
Chloride deficiency can be caused by a number of factors. These include failing to get enough chloride in your diet, long term use of certain diuretics, diarrhea, vomiting, sweating and surgery. The symptoms of not getting the RDA of chloride include:
– Muscle spasms.
Despite being a macromineral, chloride is one of the less well known. I hope this article has given you a greater insight into chloride and its role in the body.
Now I want to hear from you. Were you aware of the role chloride plays in your body? Are there any functions I have missed? Post a comment and let me know.
Chloride (Enjoy Life)
Chloride (Nutritional Wellness)
Chloride Facts and Uses (Online Vitamins Guide)
Chlorine Food Data Chart (Healthy Eating Club)
Chloride Imbalances (A to Z Diseases)
Chloride in Diet (How Stuff Works)
Chloride Information (The Vitamins and Nutrition Center)
Chlorine (Chemistry Explained)
Salt and Chloride Information (Internet FAQ Archive)