Sodium is a kind of metal that is always found as a salt. The most typical dietary form is sodium chloride. Sodium chloride is commonly called salt.

Table salt accounts for 90% of dietary sodium intake in the us. Sodium helps to balance levels of fluids and electrolytes in the body. This balance can impact high blood pressure and the health of the kidneys and heart.

Individuals utilize sodium in the form of breathed in sodium chloride for cystic fibrosis. It is likewise utilized for low sodium levels, to prevent kidney toxicity brought on by the drug amphotericin b, and for numerous other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support a number of these other uses.

Do not confuse sodium with the sodium bicarbonate salt. These are not the very same. [2]


Because of its value in human health, salt has long been a crucial commodity, as revealed by the english word income, which originates from salarium, the wafers of salt in some cases given to roman soldiers in addition to their other earnings. In medieval europe, a substance of sodium with the latin name of sodanum was utilized as a headache remedy. The name sodium is thought to stem from the arabic suda, meaning headache, as the headache-alleviating residential or commercial properties of sodium carbonate or soda were popular in early times.

Although sodium, in some cases called soda, had long been recognized in substances, the metal itself was not isolated up until 1807 by sir humphry davy through the electrolysis of sodium hydroxide. In 1809, the german physicist and chemist ludwig wilhelm gilbert proposed the names natronium for humphry davy’s “sodium” and kalium for davy’s “potassium”.

The chemical abbreviation for sodium was first published in 1814 by jöns jakob berzelius in his system of atomic signs, and is an abbreviation of the aspect’s new latin name natrium, which describes the egyptian natron, a natural mineral salt generally consisting of hydrated sodium carbonate. Natron historically had a number of essential industrial and family uses, later on eclipsed by other sodium compounds.

Sodium imparts an intense yellow color to flames. As early as 1860, kirchhoff and bunsen noted the high sensitivity of a sodium flame test, and stated in annalen der physik und chemie:.

In a corner of our 60 m3 room farthest far from the device, we blew up 3 mg of sodium chlorate with milk sugar while observing the nonluminous flame prior to the slit. After a while, it glowed a bright.

Yellow and showed a strong sodium line that disappeared only after 10 minutes. From the weight of the sodium salt and the volume of air in the space, we quickly calculate that a person part by weight of air could not consist of more than 1/20 millionth weight of sodium. [3]

Physical homes of sodium

Sodium has a strong metallic luster and in color is really analogous to silver.

It is soft at typical temperature levels that it may be formed into leaves by the pressure of the fingers.

Sodium substances soon stain on exposure to the air, though less quickly than potassium.

Sodium is instantly oxidized by water, hydrogen gas in momentary union with a little sodium being disengaged. [4]

Biological homes

Sodium salts, particularly sodium chloride, are discovered almost everywhere in biological product. Sodium is an essential element for life, as is potassium, and the two components preserve a certain balance within the cell structure. Electrolyte balance between the inside of the cell and the exterior is kept by “active transport” of potassium ions into the cell and sodium ions out of the cell. Most of the biological results of sodium salts are the result of the cation (na+), with the unfavorable counter-ion apparently not playing a dominant function.

The presence of salinity in soils is often harmful to plant growth. Sodium ions change calcium and other ions in clay complexes, changing the clay to a sticky mass; water percolation is then drastically minimized, and the basicity of the soil rises noticeably.

The tolerance of fish to changes in salinity is frequently quite remarkable. Numerous marine germs and diatoms have the ability to tolerate salt concentrations as excellent as 25 percent. The minimum sodium requirement for mammals appears to be 0.05 percent of the diet, corresponding in a normal adult to a requirement of 1– 2 grams (0.04– 0.07 ounce) of salt each day, which leads to an average sodium content of body tissues of 0.24 percent. There is a broad variation of sodium content in the various tissues, with whole blood containing around 0.62 percent sodium chloride, whereas skin has a sodium material of less than 0.1 percent. There is a relationship between salt material and water balance of the body; a low salt consumption causes loss of water. Significant quantities of sodium are lost through the skin by perspiration, and significant amounts can be excreted in the urine. [5]

System of action

Sodium and chloride major electrolytes of the fluid compartment outside of cells (i.e., extracellular) interact to control extracellular volume and blood pressure. Disturbances in sodium concentrations in the extracellular fluid are connected with disorders of water balance. [6]

Sources of sodium

More than 40% of the sodium we consume every day comes from only 10 types of food. Lots of people are surprised to learn which foods are on the list because the foods do not always taste salty.

How does your sandwich stack up on sodium? Leading piece of bread can include 200mg of sodium. 1 teaspoon of mustard can contain 120mg of sodium. 1 leaf of lettuce can consist of 2mg of sodium. 1 piece of cheese can consist of 310mg of sodium. 6 thin slices of turkey can include 690mg of sodium. The bottom piece of bread can include another 200mg of sodium. All of that amounts to 1,522 mg of sodium in an entire sandwich.

Leading sources of sodium

  • Breads and rolls
  • Pizza
  • Sandwiches
  • Cold cuts and treated meats
  • Soups
  • Burritos and tacos
  • Tasty treats *
  • Chicken
  • Cheese
  • Eggs and omelets
  • * chips, popcorn, pretzels, treat blends, and crackers

The 2020-2025 dietary guidelines for american sexternal icon advise that americans take in less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium every day as part of a healthy eating pattern.

Knowing which foods are the greatest contributors to sodium in your diet is a crucial step in minimizing day-to-day sodium consumption to a healthy level. To determine the quantity of sodium in a food, inspect the nutrition facts label, which notes sodium content per serving. Sodium content is listed in milligrams (mg). [7]

Uses of sodium

  • Over half of the sodium produced every year is used for the production of na/pb alloy in the manufacture of lead tetraethyl (an antiknock substance). The production and manufacture of lead tetraethyl are most likely to be reduced due to environmental pollution or lead posing.
  • It is used as a lowering representative in the extraction of titanium and zirconium.
  • A considerable quantity of metal is consumed in the production of various types of sodium substances like hydroxide (naoh), peroxide (na2o2), hydride (nah), organosodium compounds, and so on.
  • Dispersion of sodium in various media like carbon, potassium carbonate is utilized as a chemical catalyst in various responses of alkenes. These are utilized for the production of artificial rubber.
  • The metal has a low melting point, low viscosity, and low neutron absorption cross-section with high heat capability and thermal conductivity. Therefore, sodium is the most favorable material for heat exchange in the fast breeder nuclear power reactor. [8]

Health benefits of sodium

Sodium is generally present in really small quantities in almost every natural food. When it is added in the form of a common salt, it not just increases the taste but also finishes the necessary requirement of a well balanced diet. The health benefits consist of:.

Manages fluid levels

Sodium is one of the minerals that helps to control fluid levels in the body. Sodium and water balance are closely linked. Sodium gateways and channels are what pump water into the cell and manage the quantity of extracellular fluid in the body.

Prevents sunstroke

It is caused due to the failure of the heat regulating system in the body. This type of heat exhaustion is caused due to constant exposure to really heats. This direct exposure triggers the body to lose its capability to keep a normal temperature level. This condition is further aggravated due to the loss of salt and water from the body. Thus, sodium plays an important function in preventing sunstroke or heat fatigue by changing the loss of important electrolytes. Besides water, drinking fluids consisting of salt and sugar is favorable against sunstroke. Salt can also be blended with the juice of raw mangos to offer even more relief. Sodium levels and fluid balance are really important for endurance professional athletes along with those who live exceptionally active lifestyles.

Enhances brain function

The brain is really conscious alter in sodium levels of the body; deficiency of sodium frequently manifests as confusion and sleepiness. It assists in keeping the mind sharp, and it is an essential aspect for the development of the brain because it works to enhance brain function.

Eliminates muscle cramps

These are caused mainly throughout the hot summer months due to electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. Along with effectively hydrating the body, it is likewise crucial to supplement one’s body with sodium-rich juices and fluids to restore a number of electrolytes.

Skin care

Sodium is a crucial hydrating product in numerous anti-aging creams. It resists the free radicals that speed up the aging process. In addition, it assists to bring back younger and healthy skin.

Removes carbon dioxide

Sodium plays a crucial role in the elimination of any excess carbon dioxide that has actually collected in the body.

Controls glucose absorption

Sodium helps to assist in the absorption of glucose by cells, resulting in the smooth transportation of nutrients in the body’s cell membranes.

Maintains acid-base balance

By changing the proportions of acid-base alkali phosphates in the body, sodium controls the reaction of the kidneys and the frequency and content of urination.

Manages fluids

One of the most significant health benefits of sodium is its ability to stabilize the osmotic pressure in the body due to the guideline of fluid in the body’s cells.

Balances ions

Sodium shares an association with chlorides and bicarbonates in keeping a sound balance in between two types of ions, both positively charged ions, and adversely charged ones.

Controls high blood pressure

Sodium can help to maintain typical contractions of the heart. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the high blood pressure of the body, however an excessive boost in its material can dramatically enhance the high blood pressure and lead to severe health complications. [9]

Sodium as a food active ingredient

As a food active ingredient, sodium has several usages, such as for treating meat, baking, thickening, keeping wetness, boosting taste (including the taste of other components), and as a preservative. Some common food additives– like monosodium glutamate (msg), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), sodium nitrite, and sodium benzoate– also contain sodium and contribute (in lower quantities) to the overall quantity of “sodium” noted on the nutrition truths label.

Surprisingly, some foods that do not taste salty can still be high in sodium, which is why using taste alone is not an accurate way to evaluate a food’s sodium material. For example, while some foods that are high in sodium (like pickles and soy sauce) taste salty, there are likewise many foods (like cereals and pastries) which contain sodium however do not taste salty. Also, some foods that you may eat numerous times a day (such as breads) can amount to a great deal of sodium over the course of a day, despite the fact that an individual serving might not be high in sodium. [10]

What can you eat on a low-sodium diet?

One method to decrease dietary sodium intake is to consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and stick to homemade meals. Research studies show that eating the following foods can help keep your sodium intake low:.

  • Fresh veggies and fruits, such as greens, broccoli, cauliflower and peppers
  • Fresh, frozen, or dried fruits, such as berries, apples, bananas and pears
  • Canned veggies or beans that discuss they are low in sodium (you can also rinse canned vegetables before usage to eliminate excess sodium)
  • Low sodium salad dressings and fixings
  • Bread and grains that are low in sodium
  • Grains and beans, such as dried beans, brown rice, farro, quinoa, and whole wheat pasta
  • Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and parsnips
  • Frozen vegetables without included sauce
  • Fresh or frozen meat and poultry, such as chicken, turkey, beef, and pork
  • Fresh or frozen fish, such as cod, sea bass, and tuna
  • Whole eggs and egg whites
  • Healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado, and avocado oil
  • Low-sodium soups, such as low-sodium canned or homemade soups
  • Dairy items, such as low-fat milk or yogurt, saltless butter, and low-sodium cheese. [11]


The body uses sodium to maintain fluid levels. A balance of fluid and sodium is necessary for the health of the heart, liver, and kidneys. It manages blood fluids and prevents low blood pressure.

Too little salt

Low sodium levels can result if there is too much fluid in the body, for example, because of fluid retention. Diuretics are given in this case, to reduce fluid retention.

Other reasons for low sodium in the body include:.

  • Addison disease
  • An obstruction in the small intestine
  • Diarrhea and throwing up
  • An underactive thyroid
  • Heart failure
  • Drinking too much water
  • Burns

If sodium levels fall in the blood, this impacts brain activity. The individual may feel sluggish and lethargic. They might experience muscle twitches, followed by seizures, a loss of consciousness, coma, and death. If sodium levels fall rapidly, this may occur extremely fast.

In older people, symptoms can be severe.

One research study found that when rats were denied of sodium, they avoided activities that they normally delighted in. The scientists recommended, therefore, that sodium might serve as an antidepressant.

Excessive salt

Excess sodium consumption has actually been linked to health issue, such as osteoporosis, kidney illness, and high blood pressure, or high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and stroke.

The american heart association (aha) describe that when there is excessive sodium in the blood, it “pulls more water into the bloodstream.” As the volume of blood boosts, the heart needs to work harder to pump it around the body. In time, this can stretch the walls of the blood vessels, making them more prone to damage.

High blood pressure also adds to the accumulation of plaque in the arteries, causing a greater danger of stroke and heart disease, among other problems.

The aha urge individuals to take in more potassium at the same time as minimizing their sodium intake. Potassium is believed to decrease the negative effects of sodium.

Sodium has likewise been shown to overstimulate the body immune system, recommending a link with autoimmune illness such as lupus, several sclerosis, allergic reactions, and other conditions.

Researchers have found that children who take in salted foods are most likely to have a sugary beverage with it. The combination might increase the threat of obesity. [12]

Sodium shortage

Hyponatremia happens when the concentration of sodium in your blood is unusually low. Sodium is an electrolyte, and it assists control the quantity of water that’s in and around your cells.

In hyponatremia, one or more factors– ranging from an underlying medical condition to drinking excessive water– trigger the sodium in your body to become diluted. When this happens, your body’s water levels rise, and your cells begin to swell. This swelling can trigger many health problems, from mild to deadly.

Hyponatremia treatment is aimed at fixing the underlying condition. Depending on the cause of hyponatremia, you may simply need to cut down on just how much you consume. In other cases of hyponatremia, you may need intravenous electrolyte options and medications.


Hyponatremia symptoms and signs might include:.

  • Queasiness and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Loss of energy, drowsiness and fatigue
  • Uneasyness and irritation
  • Muscle weak point, spasms or cramps
  • Seizures
  • Coma [13]

Treatment for hyponatremia

Treatment for low blood sodium differs depending upon the cause, how serious the symptoms are, and how low your blood sodium levels are. It might consist of:.

  • Cutting down on fluid consumption
  • Adjusting the dosage of diuretics
  • Taking medications for symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and seizures
  • Dealing with underlying conditions
  • Stopping or altering a medication for a persistent condition that might be negatively affecting blood sodium
  • An intravenous (iv) sodium service. [14]

What is hypernatremia?

Hypernatremia is an electrolyte imbalance and is shown by a high level of sodium in the blood. The regular adult value for sodium is 136-145 meq/l. Sodium is an element, or an electrolyte, that is discovered in the blood. [15]

Symptoms of hypernatremia

Hypernatremia generally triggers thirst. The most severe signs of hypernatremia result from brain dysfunction. Serious hypernatremia can result in confusion, muscle twitching, seizures, coma, and death. [16]

Recommended sodium consumption

Let’s begin with the guidelines. The world health organization, the centers for disease control and avoidance, and american heart association all advise keeping sodium under 2,300 milligrams (mg) each day. The institute of medication (iom) suggests aiming for about 1,500 mg daily.

What you might not know is that sodium is a necessary nutrient. This suggests we need some sodium to keep good health. A healthy, active adult needs between 200 and 500 mg of sodium per day.

So just how much are we actually taking in? Current data shows that the typical american consumes about 3,400 mg of sodium per day. That’s considerably more than needed for survival, and more than double the iom’s suggestion. To put this in viewpoint, 1 teaspoon of table salt amounts to about 2,000 mg of sodium and 3,400 mg of sodium is about 1.5 teaspoons of table salt. [17]


  • Didanosine (videx) interaction ranking: moderate beware with this combination. Talk with your health supplier.
  • Didanosine (videx) includes sodium. Taking didanosine (videx) in addition to sodium might cause sodium levels to end up being too high.
  • Lithiuminteraction ranking: moderate beware with this mix. Talk with your health provider.
  • Altering sodium consumption may affect how well the body gets rid of lithium. Increasing sodium intake may increase how much lithium is eliminated from the body. This may lower the impacts of lithium. On the other hand, lowering sodium intake may lower just how much lithium is gotten rid of from the body. This might increase adverse impacts brought on by lithium. People taking lithium ought to avoid drastically altering their intake of sodium without first talking with their medical professional or pharmacist.
  • Medications for bowel cleansing (sodium phosphates) interaction ranking: moderate beware with this combination. Talk with your health provider.
  • Specific medications utilized for bowel cleansing prior to surgery might trigger sodium levels to become too high. Taking sodium together with these medications may increase this danger. People must avoid using big quantities of sodium prior to receiving medications for bowel cleaning.
  • Some medications for bowel cleaning consist of monobasic sodium phosphate and dibasic sodium phosphate (fleet phospho-soda).
  • Medications for high blood pressure (antihypertensive drugs) interaction ranking: moderate beware with this mix. Talk with your health service provider.
  • Big quantities of sodium can increase blood pressure. By increasing blood pressure, sodium may decrease the effectiveness of medications for high blood pressure.
  • Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (capoten), enalapril (vasotec), losartan (cozaar), valsartan (diovan), diltiazem (cardizem), amlodipine (norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (hydrodiuril), furosemide (lasix), and many others.
  • Medications that affect salt and water balances (glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids) interaction rating: moderate beware with this combination. Talk with your health service provider.
  • Some medications impact salt and water balances in the body. These medications might increase levels of sodium. Taking these medications in addition to sodium might trigger sodium levels to become too expensive.
  • Some medications that affect salt and water balances include hydrocortisone (cortef, hydrocortone, solu-cortef), cortisone (cortone), fludrocortisone (florinef), prednisone (deltasone), and prednisolone (delta-cortef).
  • Tolvaptan (samsca) interaction rating: moderate beware with this mix. Talk with your health provider.
  • Tolvaptan (samsca) is a medicine utilized to increase sodium levels. Taking tolvaptan (samsca) together with sodium might cause sodium levels to end up being expensive. [18]


Bp correlates with sodium consumption, with several mechanisms underlying this relation. Preclinical and clinical studies show that sodium negatively impacts several target organs independent of bp. Medical trials have actually revealed decreased bp with decreased sodium intake, however the research studies relating sodium intake to cv occasions have substantial restrictions associated with difficulty in assessment of sodium.

Consumption and confounding. Absence of power has actually been a barrier to demonstrating a result of reduced sodium on difficult results in normotensive people. The problems of adhering to a sodium constraint diet over years might be an overwhelming hurdle for an rct with adequate power to spot a distinction in cv occasions that could be generalizable to the entire population. Because of the weight of evidence in favor of salt decrease and the troubles in arranging a scientific trial, the aha recommends a population-wide reduction in sodium consumption. Lowering sodium will take a collaborated effort including companies like the aha, food producers and processors, restaurants, and public law targeted at education. [19]


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