Chlorine is the most important macroelement of water-salt metabolism in the human body.
In healthy people, the compound is found in almost all cells of the body, however, the highest concentration is concentrated in the skin, interstitial fluid, bone tissue, blood and lymph. In addition to regulating the acid-base balance, chlorine is involved in maintaining the osmotic balance within each cell.
This element is an effective antiseptic used to purify water from pathogens of infectious diseases: cholera, hepatitis, typhoid fever. With prolonged settling (8 - 10 hours) or boiling, chlorine evaporates.
Physical and chemical properties
Chlorine - a chemical element of the main subgroup of group VII of the periodic system of D. I. Mendeleev, with atomic number 17. The compound was first isolated in pure form in 1774 by the German chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele in Sweden. This element is a chemically active non-metal, which is part of the halogen group. Elemental chlorine under normal conditions (0 degrees) is a yellow-green poisonous gas with a sharp "suffocating" odor, which is 3 times "heavier" than air.
The compound reacts with almost all chemical elements, forming chlorides (except for nitrogen, oxygen, carbon, inert gases). When dissolved in alkalis or water, it dismutates, turning into hypochlorous and hydrochloric acids.
In nature, chlorine occurs only in mineral compounds: sylvin KCl, halite NaCl, sylvinite KCl NaCl, carnallite KCl MgCl2 6H2O, bischofite MgCl2 6H2O, kainite KCl MgSO4 3H2O. At the same time, its main reserves are concentrated in the salts of sea and ocean waters, the content of which starts from 19 grams per liter.
A healthy body of an adult weighing 80 kilograms contains at least 95 grams of chlorine.
The primary “task” of chlorine is to maintain a constant osmotic pressure in the blood, lymph, intracellular fluids, which potentiates the excretion of excess waste substances from the body and distribution of useful compounds in tissues, cells and vessels.
Other properties of the macroelement:
- participates in the mechanisms of transporting substances into cells;
- improves digestion, due to the presence in the gastric juice;
- is “responsible” for the full functioning of the brain, including the transmission of nerve impulses between neurons;
- potentiates the breakdown of fats;
- regulates the acid-base balance in the body;
- prevents puffiness;
- normalizes blood pressure;
- activates amylase;
- improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system;
- protects the body from dehydration;
- maintains normal cell pH levels;
- maintains the viability of erythrocytes;
- potentiates the excretion of carbon dioxide, toxins, toxins from cells and tissues;
- improves the functional state of the liver;
- helps the joint tissue to remain flexible and elastic.
Biochemical reactions in the human body involving sodium and potassium ions occur only in the presence of chlorine.
For healthy people, the daily requirement for chlorine is 4000 - 6000 milligrams.
With a balanced diet, the compound is supplied in the required volume with food. To date, there is no upper acceptable limit for chlorine intake, but the minimum dosage is at least 800 milligrams per day.
For children, the daily chloride requirement varies from 300 to 2300 milligrams, depending on the age of the child.
The daily dosage of a macronutrient is:
- for infants up to 3 months - 300 milligrams;
- for infants 4 to 6 months, 450 milligrams;
- for babies up to a year - 550 milligrams;
- for children 1 to 3 years old, 800 milligrams;
- for preschoolers (5-7 years old) - 1100 milligrams;
- for schoolchildren from 7 to 11 years old - 1700 milligrams;
- for teens under 14, 1900 milligrams;
- for boys from 14 to 17 years old - 2300 milligrams.
The need for chlorine increases with hot weather, intense sports, increased water intake, profuse sweating.
Insufficiency and excess of chlorine in the body
Considering that prepared foods contain salt, and tap water is purified with chlorine, a lack of chlorides in a healthy body is a rare occurrence. However, often a deficiency of a macronutrient occurs against the background of a pathological function of the internal organs.
Causes of chlorine deficiency in the body:
- prolonged adherence to salt-free diets, starvation;
- increased sweating:
- conditions accompanied by dehydration ( vomiting, frequent urination );
- abuse of laxatives, corticosteroids and diuretics;
- artificial feeding of infants;
- adrenal dysfunction;
- inflammation and other diseases of the digestive tract (perforated ulcers of the duodenum and stomach, peritonitis );
- pathologies associated with an increase in the concentration of intercellular substance;
- adrenocortical insufficiency.
In 80% of cases, these factors provoke destabilization of the acid-base balance, which leads to a violation of metabolic processes in the body.
Symptoms of hypochloremia:
- drowsiness, lethargy ;
- muscle weakness;
- hair loss;
- mental retardation;
- "crushing" of teeth;
- decrease in blood pressure;
- loss of appetite, weight;
- nausea, vomiting;
- increase in the residual concentration of nitrogen in the blood;
- convulsions ;
- dry mouth ;
- "gaps" in memory;
- urinary disorders.
A sharp decrease in blood chloride against the background of acute hypochloremia is fraught with the development of a serious condition up to coma or death.
An excess of chlorine in 80% of cases occurs in people working in the pharmaceutical, chemical, pulp and paper and textile industries. Remember, inhalation of concentrated chlorine vapors has a detrimental effect on the human body due to inhibition of the respiratory center and “burning” of the bronchial trunk.
In everyday life, an overdose of a macronutrient is practically impossible, since 90-95% of the substance is excreted in the urine, 4-8% in the feces, 1-2% in sweat.
Consider what factors provoke hyperchloremia (an excessive increase in the concentration of chlorine in the blood).
- Acute renal failure.
- Diabetes insipidus.
- Continuous diarrhoea.
- Salicylates poisoning.
- Renal tubular acidosis.
- Hyperfunction of the adrenal cortex.
- Damage to the hypothalamus.
- Abuse of androgens, corticosteroids, estrogens, thiazides.
In addition, disinfection of drinking water with chlorine leads to the formation of carcinogenic compounds (chloroform, chlorophenol, chlorides) in it, which provoke the development of respiratory diseases, gastritis, pneumonia.
Signs of hyperchloremia:
- acrid dry cough;
- chest pain;
- pain in the eyes;
- dyspeptic disorders: nausea, vomiting, dry mouth;
- lacrimation ;
- severe headache;
- heaviness in the stomach;
If hyperchloremia is not stopped for a long time, water accumulates in tissues and organs, which leads to a persistent increase in blood pressure. In severe cases, an excess of a substance in the body is accompanied by a rise in body temperature and toxic pulmonary edema. Reducing the amount of salt consumed, as well as monitoring the quality of the water you drink, will help stabilize the water-salt balance.
To dechlorinate a liquid, it is advisable to use multi-level purification mechanisms, carbon filters, boil or defend it for 6-8 hours.
Sources of chlorine
In addition to chlorinated water, natural macronutrient sources are sodium chloride or common table salt. With this product, up to 90% of the daily norm of the compound enters the human body. In addition, it is present in seafood, cereals, animal proteins, vegetables, fruits and greens.
|Product name||Chlorine content in 100 grams of the product, milligram|
|Table salt||59 000|
|Fish (hake, capelin, pollock, saury, herring)||170|
|Cottage cheese 9%||150|
|Cow's milk (whole) 3-4%||115|
|Kefir (homemade) 3 – 4%||110|
Interestingly, adding a pinch of salt to a finished dish increases the concentration of chlorine in food by 3-5 times.
Chlorine is the most important biogenic element for the human body, which is part of almost all cells of the skin, blood and bone tissue.
This substance is involved in the formation of gastric juice, stimulating the production of enzymes, the formation of blood plasma. The compound plays a key role in maintaining the acid-base and osmotic balance in the lymph, blood, and cerebrospinal fluid. Along with this, chlorides potentiate the deposition of glycogen in the liver tissues, as a result of which the energy potential of the body increases, especially during physical exertion.
An imbalance of chlorine in the body in 80% of cases is accompanied by a deterioration in general well-being and the appearance of complications from the neuromuscular or cardiovascular systems.
Common table salt has the highest chlorine content, making hypochloremia rare in humans.