All About Minerals

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Why chloride is good for you

Chloride, along with potassium and sodium, is an electrolyte. An electrolyte is a mineral that dissolves in water and carries an electrical charge. Since the body is mostly made up of water, electrolytes are found everywhere in the body – inside the cells, in the spaces between cells, in the blood, in lymph glands and everywhere else. Chloride has a negative charge (while potassium and sodium both have a positive charge). Because electrolytes have electrical charges, they can move easily back and forth through cell membranes. This is important because as they move into a cell, they carry other nutrients in with them and as they move out of it, they carry out waste products and excess water.

Chloride in the diet works with potassium and sodium, the two electrolytes, to control the flow of fluid in blood vessels and tissues, as well as regulating acidity in the body, and also forms part of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

To keep body fluid levels in balance, your cells need to have a lot of potassium inside them and a lot of sodium in the fluids outside them. To keep the balance, sodium and potassium constantly move back and forth through the cell membranes.


Important chloride facts


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Groups at risk of chloride deficiency

Generally speaking, most people will not be at a risk for chloride deficiency as we eat too much salt in our foods anyway and salt is composed of sodium and chloride.

It is only in illness/infection that people become deficient, not just in chloride, but in all the electrolytes.

People in these groups at risk of deficiency should talk to a medical professional about chloride supplements BEFORE taking them.


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Symptoms of chloride deficiency

A deficiency of chloride is extremely rare and unlikely to occur but when it does occur, it may cause excessive loss of potassium in the urine, weakness and lowered blood pressure.


Chloride and health

People who wish to take a chloride supplement should talk to a medical professional BEFORE taking it.



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Chloride in food

Good sources of chloride are:


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Chloride recommended daily intake (RDI)

RDA lifestage age amount
  INFANTS 0-6mths
  CHILDREN 1-3yrs
  CHILDREN 9-18yrs 2300mg
  ADULTS 19-50yrs 2300mg
  SENIORS 51-70yrs
  PREGNANT all ages 2300mg
  LACTATING all ages 2300mg
TOLERABLE UPPER LIMIT lifestage age amounT
  INFANTS 0-12mths n/a*
  CHILDREN 1-3yrs
  CHILDREN 9-13yrs
  ADULTS 19-50yrs 3600mg
  SENIORS 51+yrs
  PREGNANT all ages 3600mg
  LACTATING all ages 3600mg
Toxic Levels None given

The tolerable upper limits should only be taken for short periods and only under medical supervision.

* The tolerable upper limit for chloride for infants aged 0-12 months has not yet been determined due to a lack of data about the adverse effects in this age group. The only source of calcium intake should be from food (breast milk and/or baby formula).


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Chloride works best with




Overdosage, toxicity and cautions for chloride

A high concentration of chloride in the body may result in fluid retention, but sodium is normally the culprit for the retention.


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Last reviewed: 1 January 2010 || Last updated: 1 January 2010




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NOTE: Mega doses of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, or other supplements cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of nutrient supplement.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.