Sodium is an essential mineral that can be found in salts and salted food products (e.g., pretzels and chips, ham, canned chicken noodle soup and dill pickles).1 The 100% Daily Value for Sodium (based on a 2000 kcal diet) is 2,400 mg,2 but it has been revised to 2,300 mg as of May 27, 2016 for both adults, children 4 years old or older, and pregnant women to be effective as of January 1st, 2020.8
- Sodium Chloride: Sodium chloride occurs naturally, and when consumed in proper quantities, it is vital to good health. This ingredient is also used to enhance the flavors of food.
- Sodium Citrate: Sodium citrate is the trisodium salt of citric acid. It is produced by neutralizing a water solution of citric acid using sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate, and then crystallizing the trisodium citrate.
- Sea Salt: Sea Salt is produced by the evaporation of sea water. In addition to sodium chloride, sea salt also contains other mineral salts, such as calcium, potassium or magnesium salts with chloride or sulfate.
Major Health Benefits
Sodium is important for regulating blood volume and blood pressure of the body. Sodium is one of the most essential electrolytes that maintain normal nerves and muscle (including heart muscle) function to sustain life.3 It is critical to supply sodium along with other electrolytes after prolonged excessive sweat with exercise, diarrhea, or vomiting.4 Sodium also plays an important role in the absorption of carbohydrates (glucose), proteins (amino acids), and water in the small intestine.5
The Tolerable Upper Intake Level of sodium per day is 2.3 grams.6 Excessive intake of sodium has been associated with increased blood pressure, contributing to cardiovascular disease development, and may contribute to increased calcium loss through the urine, which in turn may increase the risk of kidney stone formation.7 Individuals that are prone to developing hypertension (high blood pressure) due to existing conditions such as: diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, as well as elderly people, may benefit from a lower sodium intake.7
Higdon, J. Sodium (Chloride). Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Obarzanek, E in 2008) (Sources). http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/sodium Accessed 7/2015.
US Food and Drug Administration. Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide (14. Appendix F: Calculate the Percent Daily Value for the Appropriate Nutrients). US Department of Health and Human Services. 2013 January. https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/UCM265446.pdf
Higdon, J. Sodium (Chloride). Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Obarzanek, E in 2008) (Maintenance of Membrane Potential) https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/sodium#membrane-potential-maintenance
Higdon, J. Sodium (Chloride). Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Obarzanek, E in 2008) (Deficiency) https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/sodium#deficiency
Higdon, J. Sodium (Chloride). Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Obarzanek, E in 2008) (Nutrient Absorption and Transport) https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/sodium#nutrient-absorption-transport
Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Tolerable Upper Intake Levels, Elements. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academies. (PDF available)
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Sodium and Chloride. Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, chloride, and Sulfate. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press: 2005: 269-423. (pp.271, 272) https://www.nap.edu/read/10925/chapter/8
US Food and Drug Administration. Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels. US Department of Health and Human Services. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 103, p. 33982 / May 27, 2016. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-05-27/pdf/2016-11867.pdf