Sodium (Na).

Dietary minerals- Sodium (Na)

Salt
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Sodium is most commonly found in the human diet as sodium chloride, or regular table salt. This is formed when sodium combines with chlorine. Sodium is an elemental mineral that is a metal in its natural form.

Sodium is only needed in small amounts to provide health benefits. Sodium is an electrolyte, helping to maintain a proper balance of fluid within cells. This nutrient is also necessary for proper nerve signals and impulses as well as for muscle functioning by way of contractions and relaxation.

nutshell In a nutshell
nutshell Sodium is only needed in small amounts to provide health benefits.
nutshell Even fruits and vegetables have small amounts of sodium.
nutshell All sources may quickly add up to the maximum recommended allowance.

Sodium deficiency

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It is rare to be deficient in sodium. Sodium is naturally present in many foods and widely used in processed foods in the form of salt. However, low-blood sodium, or hyponatremia, may occur. Symptoms include:

• Nausea and vomiting;
• Muscle spasms, cramps, or weakness;
• Headache;
• Lethargy and fatigue;
• Confusion;
• Loss of appetite;
• Seizures;
• Coma;
• Death.

Overdose and Toxicity Symptoms

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Sodium overdose may be a result of salt overconsumption, with symptoms that include:

• Muscle twitching and tremors;
• Fluid build-up around organs;
• Irritability;
• Altered mental states;
• High blood pressure;
• Excessive thirst;
• Ruptured blood vessels in the brain;
• Coma;
• Death.

Maximum Recommended Allowance and sources of Sodium

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Daily Recommended Intake. Guidelines for sodium intake recommend no more than 2,300 mg/day of this mineral. Most individuals do not need any more than 1,500 mg/day for proper health.

Most processed foods have lots of sodium unless they are labeled as containing low salt. You can get your sodium through natural food sources as well.

• 1 cup of low-fat milk: 100 mg;
• 1 ounce of provolone cheese: 48 mg;
• 1 egg: 59 mg;
• 3 ounces baked flounder: 201 mg;

Even fruits and vegetables have small amounts of sodium. All sources may quickly add up to the maximum recommended allowance.

“Sodium” coming from the Arabic term “suda” …

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Although sodium and its salts have been used since ancient times, the elemental metal sodium was not first isolated until the early 1800s. Sodium has long been known for its ability to relieve headaches, with the word “sodium” coming from the Arabic term “suda”, which means headache. The chemical abbreviation for sodium is Na, short for the Latin “natrium”, which was taken from the Egyptian word “natron”.