Originally posted on https://jakefood.com/2018/chloride/.
Chloride is one of the two components that make up table salt, next to sodium.This means that it’s probably in most foods you have. Still, it wouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve never heard about it. Often hidden in sodium’s notorious shadow, chloride is less well studied on its own. We need it to stay healthy, but does it also play a part in the adverse health effects attributed to sodium? Let’s take a look at the facts about chloride.
What is chloride?
Chloride is an important electrolyte and one of the major minerals in the body. It makes up 0.15% of your total body weight. For an average adult, that adds up to around 115 grams.
Most of the chloride is found in your blood and other extracellular fluids. Only about 15% is inside cells.
The levels of chloride in your blood are tightly controlled by the kidneys. They increase or decrease chloride excretion levels to compensate for short-term fluctuations in your chloride intake.
Health benefits of chloride
Together with sodium and potassium, chloride is responsible for fluid and acid-base (pH) balance in your body. As such, it’s crucial for normal cell functioning.
The key functions of chloride are:
- Maintaining the fluid balance in your body.
- Transporting nutrients across cell membranes: Chloride can move through cell membranes, which allows it to supply nutrients and remove waste products from cells.
- Supporting normal digestion: Chloride is a component of hydrochloric acid, an important digestive fluid. Hydrochloric acid kills bacteria that enter your stomach and breaks down proteins to ease their digestion…