Sodium is the primary cation (positive ion) in extracellular fluids in animals and humans. These fluids, such as blood plasma and extracellular fluids in other tissues, bathe cells and carry out transport functions for nutrients and wastes. Sodium ions are important for the regulation of blood and body fluids, transmission of nerve impulses and heart activity. In humans and animals sodium is also important to carry out certain metabolic activities. In right quantities it is only of the quantity minerals required for our well being in
Sodium is one of the most abundant dietary mineral that is present in our body. A healthy human needs sufficient quantity of sodium.
Sodium – Sources
The major source of sodium is table salt, sodium is also present in many plant and animal sources.
Biological Functions of Sodium
Sodium is required by the body for various functions. Thee important biological functions of sodium are:[checklist]
- Sodium will carry out the transport functions of nutrients and wastes
- Sodium regulates blood volume
- Sodium regulates blood pressure
- Sodium regulates osmotic equilibrium
- Sodium maintains proper pH levels[/checklist]
Sodium – Deficiency
Sodium deficiency is very rare and will not occur due to insufficient dietary intake. It might happen because of excess diarrhea and profuse vomiting. A deficiency of sodium is called as hyponatraemia, it is an electrolyte disturbance where the sodium concentration in the serum goes below the normal level. However this will not happen because of poor sodium intake but because of other physical problems in the body like cirrhosis and nephron related diseases.
Sodium – Requirements and supplements
On an average for a normal individual the daily requirement of sodium is 2.3 g/day. The minimum required sodium is 500 mg, however most of the diseases related to sodium are caused because of overdose of sodium and not because of deficiency. consistently higher intake of sodium will result in hypertension and heart failures. High sodium levels in the blood serum can result in various problems and it is termed as hypernatraemia, this can solved by drinking good amount of water. However it is always good to control the sodium intake by limiting the use of table salt while cooking.