Sodium is a plentiful
mineral in the body. It is essential in the recommended quantity for the body.
The average adult contains approximately 100g of sodium. Sodium is easily
absorbed in the small intestine. Sodium is lost in sweat during exercise or in
hot environments. Sodium and chloride compound is table salt.
Sodium is the most abundant cation in the extracellular fluid of
Itactswithotherelectrolytes,especially potassium, in the
intracellular fluid to regulate the osmotic pressure and maintain proper water
balance within the body.
It is the major factor in maintaining the acid-base equilibrium,
in transmitting nerve impulses and in relaxing muscles.
It maintains normal mineral content of extra and intra cellular
Vegetables like dry
lotus stems and green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, roots like beetroot,
carrot and radish are rich in sodium. Animal foods like milk, egg white, fish
and meat contain substantial amount of sodium.
Deficiency of sodium is caused by excessive sweating, prolonged
use of diuretics, chronic diarrhoea.
Deficiency may lead to nausea, muscular weakness, heat exhaustion
and mental apathy. Oversupply of sodium is a more common problem
Too much sodium may lead to water retention, high blood pressure
and even stomach ulcers.