• It is responsible for the regulation of body fluid content and electrolyte balance.
  • Needed for muscle contraction.
  • Needed for the absorption of some nutrients and water from the gut.


  • Sodium deficiency is rare but it can occur in some cases such as excess sweating, diarrhoea, renal failure, drugs such as diuretics may remove large amounts of sodium in the urine.


  • High sodium intake through salt (sodium chloride) may lead to the increase of blood pressure which raises the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.

Examples of food sources include:

  • Salt, cheese, processed foods, ready meals, savoury snacks, meat products such as bacon.
  • Both men and women should not consume more than 6 g of salt (2.4 g sodium) a day.


Reference Nutrient Intakes (approximate values for adults):

  • 1.6 mg a day for men
  • 1.6 mg a day for women



British Nutrition Foundation., 2016. [online]. Available from:

Harvard Health Publications., 2009. Listing of vitamins. [online]. Available from:

National Health Service. 2016. [online]. Available from:

Department of Health. 1991. Dietary reference values for food energy and nutrients for the United Kingdom. London: The Stationery Office.

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