Learn the benefits, how much to take, drug interactions and which foods are full of sodium.


Sodium helps nerve impulse function and muscle contraction. It also helps the body regulate body fluids and affects blood pressure.

How Much: Adequate intake (AI) is 1,500 milligrams (mg) for adults.

Too Much: Tolerable upper limit (UL) = 2,300 mg.

Too Little: Sodium deficiency is rare except for those who work or exercise in a hot climate. Symptoms for these individuals include, headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, muscle cramps and fainting.

Foods: Salt, soy sauce, processed meats, canned soups, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and fast food.

Interactions: Corticosteroids, diuretics, NSAIDS, opiates and tricyclic antidepressants.

Research Notes: One study found women who consumed a high-salt diet (9 grams [g] daily) lost 33 percent more calcium and 23 percent more of a bone protein than those on a low-salt diet (2 g per day).

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