Sodium is one of the most important minerals for physiological functioning in the body. In combination with other minerals, it maintains the fluid balance in the body, is necessary for the nerves and muscles to function, and is an essential element in the production of hormones. In physical terms, sodium combines with water to create the electrolyte solution that the body needs to operate normally. The main sources of sodium are food and salt. Approximately 98% of the body’s sodium content is found in the bones. The remainder is found in the cells of organs, the fluid between them, and the endocrine glands. The sodium that is not related to these areas is found in the white blood cells, the lymphatic system, and the nervous system.
Sodium also functions as an essential component in the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This necessary acid is required for the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. When carbohydrates are digested, sodium changes into ammonium ions that are later converted into sodium salt. Ammonium ions are critical in the proper function of the skeletal muscles, the heart, and the renal system. As you can see, a deficiency of sodium can disrupt many of these processes.
The kidneys and the intestinal tract store excess sodium to be excreted in the urine. The body reabsorbs sodium in the urine and sends it to the organs through the blood stream. When there is an excess amount of sodium in the blood stream, a phenomenon is called hyponatremia (mayates hypertension). This means that there is too much sodium for the body to handle. The result is fluid retention, which can lead to edema, swelling, and cell damage. If the amount of sodium in the blood stream is very high, there is a risk of serious health problems like organ failure.
A low sodium diet helps relieve high blood pressure caused by an excess of sodium in the blood. Even when the diet is balanced, an excess of sodium produces hypertension, but a low sodium diet relieves hypertension without the side affects of an extreme diet.
Eating too many processed foods, fats, salts, and soft drinks can add to the fluid loss from your body.
People suffering from hypertension should reduce salt in their diet and monitor their fluid intake. If you are not sure whether you need to reduce sodium consumption, consult your doctor. Common recommendations include replacing sodium-rich processed foods with foods rich in potassium, replacing beef and other salty foods with vegetables, and substituting poultry and other fatty foods with fruits and vegetables.
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Many prenatal vitamins contain this mineral. When a woman is pregnant, she needs even more because of the increased demand on the mother’s body for folate, folic acid, iron, and calcium. Folic acid is necessary for the metabolism of red blood cells, and pyridoxine hydrochloride is necessary for the synthesis of sex hormones and the maintenance of brain function.
This compound found in fruit, vegetables, and grains is necessary for the metabolism of iron. Ferrous fumarate keeps the body from excreting an excess of iron that may collect in fatty tissues. It also increases the absorption of vitamin B12, which helps prevent neural tube defects.
They stimulate the large intestine to absorb dietary fiber. Research shows that laxatives may help people who suffer from constipation to pass stools more smoothly. These are absorbed through the prostate gland to keep the urinary tract of the prostate gland healthy. Bad bacteria are inhibited by-products of vitamin D. Many people who suffer from anemia are on dialysis and also benefit from protonified water. Those who have anemia benefit from including nutrition administered through a proton.