Friday, December 19, 2008

The Electrolytes (Sodium, Potassium and Chloride)

Role in the Body
All are necessary for maintaining water balance and blood pH, nerve impulses, and muscle contraction. They are important for regulating blood pressure and are involved in transporting substances in and out of cells.

Dietary Sources
Sodium and chloride are found in virtually all foods. Good sources of potassium include apricots, bananas, dates, brewer's yeast, nuts, potatoes, and raisins.

Who Is at Risk for Deficiency?
People who have had severe vomiting or diarrhea may experience electrolyte imbalances, as may people taking diuretics.

Potassium may protect against stroke, and keeping sodium-potassium balance is important for maintaining low blood pressure (reducing sodium and increasing potassium).

High sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure.

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