Nutrition and Information Guide: Minerals Sodium

About the mineral sodium, nutritional information guide, uses, effects of deficiency or overdose, good sources of sodium.

Sodium

Use in the Body: Assists with its partner potassium in the regulation of water balance, the maintenance of normal pH in the blood, and the influence of muscular activity.

Deficiency May Lead to: is rare, because sodium chloride (salt) is present in most foods. Also, sodium is closely regulated by the body; the rate of its excretion depends on its sufficiency in the body. Vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive perspiration may deplete the body's salt.

Overdose May Lead to: Edema (swelling of the body tissues). Sodium also aggravates hypertension (high blood pressure), a widespread American disease.

Notes: An essential mineral found in the bones and the fluids surrounding cells. It generally works with potassium. Sodium is a constituent of body secretions like saliva and enzymes. Since it is lost when the body sweats, supplements are needed during hard labor on hot days. Sodium may be beneficial for the treatment of diarrhea, leg cramps, dehydration, and fever.

Best Sources: Table salt, baking powder, baking soda, green leafy vegetables, chicken, meat, dairy products, seafoods, water.

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