Chloride deficiency may occur only in the presence of sodium deficiency since chloride supply is almost exclusively through sodium chloride. It can also be obtained through potassium chloride but only with doctor’s supervision.
The nutrional marriage with sodium that maintains the body’s acid-base balance.
Who is at risk?
People with severe diarrhoea, vomiting and Addison’s disease are at risk of chloride deficiency. In addition, athletes and those with excessive sweating are also at risk.
Why is chloride important for the body?
It is essential in the regulation of major positive ions (sodium and potassium) to achieve an electrical balance in the cells.
It also helps in the acid-base balance (together with phosphorus and sulphur) in the body fluids and formation of hydrochloride acid which is essential for proper digestion.
Carbon dioxide is taken up by the blood and released in the lungs and chloride crosses the membrane of the red blood cell to counteract any change in the acid-base balance that might have occurred. This movement of chloride in and out of red blood cells is called chloride transfer.
Source of chloride
Chloride can be found in sources rich in sodium.