Sodium

PD Food Essentials FD001751 Sodium, one of the components of salt, is a mineral that is found in every cell of the body, with greatest concentrations in the fluid outside and in between cells. Sodium regulates the water content inside and outside our cells.

Functions

Sodium helps with the performance of many functions in the body. Some of them include:
  • Regulation of fluid balance and blood pressure
  • Helps transport glucose into the cell
  • Carbon dioxide transport
  • Muscle contraction
  • Nerve impulse transmission

Recommended Intake

It is recommended that people get no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Certain adults should reduce intake to 1,500 mg of sodium per day. This includes:The Institute of Medicine has set Adequate Intake (AI) levels for sodium. This AI is the recommended daily average intake for healthy and moderately active people.
Age group Adequate Intake (AI)
(mg/day)
Children: 1-3 years 1,000 mg
Children: 4-8 years 1,200 mg
Children: 9-18 years 1,500 mg
Adults: 19-50 years 1,500 mg
Adults 51-70 years 1,300 mg
Adults 71 years and older 1,200 mg

Too Little Sodium

Since the typical American diet is rich in sodium, deficiencies are uncommon in healthy people. A sodium deficiency may accompany extreme body fluid loss, such as in the case of starvation, profuse sweating, or excess vomiting or diarrhea. It may also accompany kidney failure, heart failure, chronic liver disease, or use of some diuretics.

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