Chloride is an essential macronutrient. It is one of the components of table salt (sodium chloride) and the those two ions are paired in many of their functions. Chloride, in association with sodium, is the principal osmotically active anion in the extracellular fluid and is imporant in maintaining fluid and ectrolyte balance. It is also an important component of gastric juice as hydrochloric acid. [1]


Chloride is the anion of chlorine, a poisonous gas. Chloride is taken in mostly through sodium chloride and absorption occurs in the small intestine. Absorption is approximately 98% across a wide intake range. Almost all absorbed sodium and chloride is later excreted via sweat and urine. 

Potassium bicarbonate and potassium chloride have been shown to increase sodium excretion to the point of a new, lower equilibrium, at which sodium intake nad excretion became equivalent once again. There seem to be no adverse effects after the new equilibrium is reached.[1]

Daily Dietary RecommendationEdit

Source: Institute of Medicine, US National Academies [1]
Age (years) Males (g/day) Females (g/day)
14-18 2.3 2.3
19-50 2.3 2.3
51-70 2 2
71+ 1.8 1.8

Potential DangersEdit


Chloride losses usually accompany sodium losses, so the conditions and diseases associated with sodium are also associated with chloride. Chloride depletion can be caused by excessive vomiting, as it is lost through hypochlororic acid; this leads to the condition hypochloremic metabolic alkalosis. In general, chloride deficieny is rarely seen because most of what contians sodium also provides chloride.[1]


The UL for chloride for adults is 3.6g/day. Like sodium, chloride cannot be easily overdosed upon because it is water-soluble and excreted through the urine. However, there may be adverse affects associated with overconsumption.[1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Dietary Reference Intakes: Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate". Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, United States National Academies. 2004-02-11. Retrieved 2013-4-2.