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Chlorine Sources, Functions and Deficiency

Chlorine is mostly present in the form of inorganic chlorides both inside the cells as well as in the extra cellular fluids. It could be 0.25% in whole food, 0.36% in plasma, and 0.19% in corpuscles. When carbon-dioxide enters blood, Chlorine from plasma enters the red cells, while the base (sodium) is left behind. When carbon dioxide escapes from blood, chlorine leaves the cells, enters the plasma and combines with the base (Sodium) again. This alternate movement of chlorine ion is called chloride shift. Thus the carbon dioxide tension of blood determines the proportion of Chlorine between cell and plasma.

Functions of Chlorine in Our Body

• It helps in cleansing/expelling waste matter to purify blood.
• It is a main factor for regulating body reaction, as it is the chief anion of the body and provides for about 2/3rd of the anions of plasma.
• The chlorides of Sodium, Potassium are important agents in the regulation of osmotic pressure in the tissues.
• Chlorine ions are essentials for the action of ptyalin and pancreatic amylase.
• Chloride shift (Chlorine ions shifts between plasma and cell) helps carbon-dioxide carriage and regulation of body reaction.
• It is also necessary for manufacture of glandular hormone secretions.
• It prevents building of excessive fat and autointoxication.
• It also regulates the alkali-acid balance in the blood.
• It involves in maintenance of proper fluid and electrolyte balance in the system.

Natural Sources of Chlorine

Chlorine is present as sodium chloride in milk, water, other articles of diet etc. It is also found in wheat, barley, grains and pulses, fruits like melon, pineapple, and green leafy vegetables.

Daily Requirement of Chlorine

The RDA (recommended daily allowance) is 10-20 gm (about 4 gm of sodium). The salt intake in summer should be more to meet with excessive perspiration, vomiting, and diarrhoea due to heat.

Chlorine Deficiency

• Its deficiency due to perspiration may cause heat cramps.
• Its deficiency may also lead to hair and teeth loss, impaired digestion of foods, and disturbance in fluid levels in the body.


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