Chloride is an important mineral of the body and is the primary mineral nutrient that happens in body fluids. It is highly abundant in ionic trace mineral preparations. Chloride is known as a negatively charged ion of the blood and it composes 70 percent of the body’s overall negative ion component. A healthy adult individual has an approximately 115 grams of chloride which makes up 0.15 percent of the total body weight. According to some experts, the recommended dose of chloride ranges from 750 mg to 900 mg per day. This was based on the fact that the total loss of chloride in an otherwise healthy adult is about 530 mg per day. Chloride functions as one of the major electrolytes of the human body and when dissolved in bodily water together with sodium and potassium, it aids in the conduction of electrical impulses. Chloride transforms into a negatively charged ion once it gains an electron when dissolved and sodium and potassium become positive ions once they lose an electron when dissolved. As rule, a positively charged ion is always accompanied by a negatively charged ion, hence the close relationship between potassium, sodium, and chloride. In order to maintain serum osmolarity, the negative charge of chloride plays an important role in balancing against the positive charges of potassium and sodium.
An electrolyte is a mineral that dissolves in water or bodily fluids and carries an electrical charge. Chloride, together with sodium and potassium, is an electrolyte. Since our body is made up of about 75 percent of water, electrolytes can be found everywhere – in the bloods, in the lymphatic vessels, inside the cells, in the spaces between the cells, and everywhere else. Since electrolytes carry electrical charges, they can move with ease inside the cell membranes. As mentioned earlier, chloride has a negative charge, while sodium and potassium have positive charge. It is important for these minerals to move easy through the cell membrane because as they move into a cell, they carry out excess water and waste materials, as well as other nutrients as they move out of it.
In order to keep a balanced level of body fluids, your cell needs to have high amounts of potassium inside them and high amounts of sodium outside them. Potassium and sodium needs to easily move back and forth through the cell membranes to keep the balance. Chloride works together with sodium and potassium in regulating the acid levels in the body, controlling the flow of fluid in the tissues and blood vessels, as well as forming a part of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
Chloride deficiencies are extremely uncommon. On the other hand, when it happens, it could lead into over alkalinity of the blood, this is a life-threatening condition known as metabolic alkalosis. In order to prevent this from happening, a constant balance between acidity and alkalinity is a must, and it should be maintained at all parts of the body. Alkalosis is a result of excessive loss of sodium (or dehydration), such as in diarrhea and prolonged vomiting, an in heavy sweating when performing vigorous exercises. Symptoms of metabolic alkalosis include loss of appetite, dehydration, weakness, profound lethargy, and irritability. Hypochloremia (or Hypochloraemia), an electrolyte disturbance in which there is an abnormally low level of the chloride ion in the blood, can occur secondary to water overload, severe bodily burns with sequestration of extracellular fluids, and muscle wasting. In any case wherein an infant was given high amounts of chloride-deficient formula, can lead to anorexia, weakness in their first year of life, and failure to thrive.
Chloride and chlorine are way too different from each other. The element chlorine is known to be a harmful gas, and because of its reactivity, it does not exist in the free elemental states of nature. However, it is greatly distributed together with other elements. On the other hand, chlorine and chloride are somehow related to each other because of the fact that the most common chlorine compound is salt (NaCl). Chloride salts are important in order to have a normal metabolism and unlike chlorine gas, it does not cause any harmful effects to the human body.
Decreased chlorine levels in our body can happen when your body loses great amounts of fluid. This can occur following vomiting, profuse sweating, and diarrhea. Mediations like diuretics and other drugs than can increase the production of urine can lower the levels of chloride.
Increase chloride levels can occur following over consumption of foods that are high in sodium (salty foods). This can cause buildup of fluid in individuals who are suffering from cirrhosis, congestive heart failure (CHF), or kidney disease, and can increase blood pressure.
The appropriate dosage for chloride high depends on the person’s age, gender, and condition. The recommended daily intake of chloride and other nutrient supplements are provided by the DRIs or the Dietary Reference Intakes, which was developed by the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine. These values include:
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