Sodium is one of the most common minerals found in the human body. It regulates the water balance and the acid-base balance. Sodium also plays an important role in muscle and nerve function and in the stabilization of bones and cell walls.
Daily requirement, deficiency symptoms and overdose
The daily requirement of an adult is 550 mg regardless of age and gender. Most of the sodium intake occurs through table salt. Since just 1.4 grams of salt are sufficient to meet the daily requirement of sodium, deficiency symptoms are very rare. Sodium deficiency as a result of prolonged, extreme sweating or diarrhea can lead to disorders of muscle function in the form of cramps. A strictly low-salt or salt-free diet can manifest itself in symptoms such as circulatory disorders, cramps, exhaustion and headaches.
Excessive salt consumption can lead to high blood pressure and water retention (edema).
Foods high in sodium
Sodium is found in abundance in sausage and cheese products, but also in smaller amounts in almost every other product.