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chloride in the diet

Chloride is a mineral. Chloride, along with sodium and potassium, are known as the electrolyte minerals. They are in all body fluids and help regulate fluids in and out of the body's cells. Chloride, along with sodium, is found concentrated in the fluid outside of cells.

What food source is the nutrient found in? 
Table salt and salty foods, such as olives, are the most concentrated sources of chloride. Table salt is known chemically as sodium chloride. Chloride is also found in moderate amounts in meats, chicken, fish, grains, fruits, vegetables, especially tomatoes, nuts, milk products and seeds.

How does the nutrient affect the body? 
Chloride works closely with the other electrolyte minerals, sodium and potassium. All three minerals work together to provide their functions. They help maintain the body's acid-base balance. They are important in keeping the body's water in balance. The three minerals also help transmit nerve impulses or signals. Chloride is important for keeping the stomach's digestive fluids working as they should. This helps the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients.

Chloride is never naturally lacking in the diet because salt is such a common part of the diet. It is found in foods that have natural sources of salt. In the Australian diet, chloride (along with sodium) is even more common. Processed foods are often high in salt. There is no Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) for chloride. Most healthy people can satisfy their chloride needs with a minimum of 750 mg per day. Excessive sweating, vomiting or diarrhoea can cause the body to lose chloride.

Reviewer: eknowhow Medical Review Panel
Editor: Dr John Hearne
Last Updated: 5/03/2005
Potential conflict of interest information for reviewers available on request

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