exists only in the form of a diatomic molecule. It is a product of the electrolysis reaction:
2NaCl + 2H2O Æ 2NaOH + Cl2 + H2.
“Life evolved from water” [Ref. 1]. The ocean holds all of the chloride that we
need. Chloride is formed as a byproduct of the electrolytes, K, Mg, and Na. “In its
original form, chloride is formed from various rocks into soil and water by years of
weathering process” [Ref. 3]. From there, it is transported to oceans or closed basins.
Chloride is also found in the stomach as HCl, where it maintains the pH. Chloride is very
important for human metabolic processes. “To function properly, organisms must
actively pump sodium and chloride out of cells and actively take in potassium.” [Ref. 1].
The biological functions of sodium, potassium, and chloride include controlling cellular
properties such as osmotic pressure, membrane potentials, condensation of
polyelectrolytes, and required ionic strength for activity [Ref. 1].
Chloride is also an essential mineral [Ref. 4]. “Chloride is the major extracellular
anion maintained at a concentration of 100-110 mmol L-1 in that fluid.” [Ref. 1]. “Like
Na+, there is no control over Cl- absorption, and homeostasis is affected by renal
reabsorption” [Ref. 1]. It represents 70% of the body’s total negative ion content [Ref. 3].
The suggested amount of chloride intake is 750-900 mg/day [Ref. 3] As a main
electrolyte in the body, it assists in conduction of electrical impulses. Chlorine is an
electrolyte and a minor element making up 0.14% of the concentration of elements in the
human body [Ref. 3, 4]. Another role of chloride in the body is to combine with
hydrogen to form HCl, which breaks down proteins for absorption of other metallic
minerals. It also maintains the electrical neutrality across the stomach membrane. With
Na and K, chloride works well to keep all of our biological systems running smoothly.