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About Nutrition
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In our body about 0.15% is chloride. Chlorine can only exist in the body as chloride ions mostly together with sodium ions. Thus chloride is the counterpart of sodium in sodium-chloride or table salt. Both chloride and sodium are essential components of the human body.

Chloride is found mainly in the fluid outside cells, alongside sodium. About 15% of chloride is located inside cells, with the highest amounts in red blood cells. Chloride is also present in very small amounts in bones.

Chloride works with sodium and potassium to maintain the proper balance of body fluids, as well as their pH balance. In addition chloride is an essential component of digestive juices, as it is needed with hydrogen to form hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

Chloride and sodium help maintain proper blood volume and pressure. The concentration of chloride, sodium and potassium in the blood is carefully controlled by the kidneys.


Most of our chloride intake is from table salt and salt added to many foods during processing or cooking.

Other sources high in chloride are salt substitutes such as potassium chloride, seaweed (such as dulse and kelp), olives, rye, vegetables like celery, lettuce, tomatoes, preserved meats such as bacon, ham, sausages, and processed or canned foods or fast foods that are high in salt.

Daily intake

The North American Dietary Reference Intake recommends a daily intake of between 2300 and 3600 mg/day for 25-year-old males.


Deficiency of chloride can occur with heavy sweating, as large amounts of sodium and chloride can be lost in perspiration. Prolonged diarrhea or vomiting can lead to excessive loss of fluid, chloride, potassium and sodium.

Symptoms of chloride deficiency may also include loss of appetite, muscle weakness, lethargy and dehydration.


This is normally not a concern since excess chloride is excreted by the kidneys.

However very high intakes of more than 15 grams a day, usually in the form of salt, may lead to symptoms such as acid-base imbalance, fluid retention, and high blood pressure. (These problems are due more to the excess sodium than to the excess chloride.)

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