· As a component of sodium chloride (NaCl), chloride ion is an essential for acid-base equilibrium.
· Chloride ion regulates the water balance and osmotic pressure.
· It is also important in the production of hydrochloric acid in the gastric juice.
· Chloride ion is important as an activator of amylase enzyme.
Sodium chloride is the main source for chlorine.
The requirements of sodium chloride depend on the climate and occupation and on the salt content of the diet. Animal foods contain more NaCl than those of plant foods. Normal requirement of chloride is 5-10g /day as NaCl.
Chloride is completely absorbed from the gastro intestinal tract. Chloride is mainly eliminated in the urine and also in the sweat.
Chloride deficiency occurs when loss of sodium is excessive in diarrhoea, sweating and some endocrine disturbances.