Chloride: Functions, Food sources, Absorption and excretion

Chloride: Functions, Food sources, Absorption and excretion

The body contains approximately 100g of chloride and most of this is found in the extracellular fluid (especially in the blood plasma). The rest of the chloride is present inside the cell. Chloride is present in the extracellular fluid as sodium chloride and in the cell as potassium chloride.


The functions of sodium, potassium and chloride are closely interlinked. Chloride combines with sodium and potassium and helps regulate fluid balance and acidity/ alkalinity of body fluids.

Food sources

Chloride is widely distributed in all plant foods. But the most important source of chloride in our diet is common table salt i.e. sodium chloride.

Absorption and excretion

Chloride is readily absorbed from the upper part of the intestine. Excess chloride, as in the case of sodium, is excreted in the urine and to a lesser extent through the sweat and the faeces.

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