Chlorine is an essential mineral, occurring in the body mainly in compound form with sodium or potassium. It is widely distributed throughout the body in the form of chloride in amounts less than 15 percent of the total body weight. Chlorine compounds such as .sodium chloride, or salt, are found primarily within the cells.
Chlorine helps regulate the correct balance of acid Yi in the blood and maintains pressure that causes fluids to pass in and out of cell membranes until the concentration of dissolved particles is equal-1 on both sides. It stimulates production of hydrohloric acid, an enzymatic juice needed in the stomach digestion of protein and rough, fibrous foods. Chlorine stimulates the liver to function as a filter wastes and helps clean toxic waste products out of the system. It aids in keeping joints and tendons youthful shape, and it helps to distribute hormones, Chlorine in the diet is provided by sodium chloride, or table salt. Some form of chlorine is also found in kelp, dulse, rye flour, ripe olives, sea greens, and Chlorine is sometimes added to water for purification purposes because it destroys water-diseases such as typhoid and hepatitis.
Chlorine is absorbed in the intestine and excreted through urination and perspiration. The highest body concentrations are stored in the cerebrospinal fluid and in the secretions of the gastrointestinal tract. Muscle and nerve tissues are relatively low in chloride. Excess chlorine is excreted; additional loss may be caused by conditions such as vomiting, diarrhea, or sweating.
There has been much controversy over the relative merits of adding chlorine to drinking water supplies because it is a highly reactive chemical and may join with inorganic minerals and other chemicals to form possibly harmful substances. It is known that chlorine in the drinking water destroys vitamin E. It also de¬stroys many of the intestinal flora that help in the digestion of food.
There is no Recommended Dietary Allowance for chlorine because the average person's salt intake is high and usually provides between 3 and 9 grams daily. Diets sufficient in sodium and potassium provide ade¬quate chlorine. Daily intake of 14 to 28 grams of salt is considered excessive.
Deficiency Effects and Symptoms
A deficiency of chlorine can cause hair and tooth loss, poor muscular contraction, and impaired digestion.
Beneficial Effect on Aliments
Chlorine is beneficial in treating diarrhea and vomiting.