Sodium is generally associated with chlorine in the form of sodium chloride (commonly known as salt). It is essential for the transmission of impulses in nerve and muscle tissue. It also plays an important role in electrolyte balance because it creates much osmotic extracellular fluids.

The role of sodium is primarily to retain water and contribute to the acid base.Il exists on the surface of our cells called a sodium pump that is used to remove the sodium from the cell and return it to potassium. This pump réclaùe 10% of the energy produced by the body.

At the level of the body, sodium is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, diffuses rapidly into the extracellular space and exchange with sodium cytoplasmic and is eliminated by renal excretion. The intestine provides the absorption of all ingested sodium as sodium excreted with the faeces is negligible in normal subjects.

The bioavailability of ingested salt is actually independent of the original source. It is almost complete.

Sodium ingested food comes from different sources and present in different chemical forms, which are divided into five categories :

  • salt occurs naturally in different foods and beverages (vegetables, milk, seafood, some tap waters, spring and mineral)
  • salt added to cooking. It should be noted that only 20 to 40% of added salt in the cooking water is actually ingested with food
  • table salt
  • salt content in some health food and some medicines.

Sources of Sodium

See the list of foods that provide the most sodium


Homeostasis of sodium chloride in the body requires a daily minimum of 1 to 2 g. This does not mean salt intake counselor also low. The physiological need average human adult of sodium chloride is not more than 4 g per day.

We can simply say in general that the subject is healthy avoid excess in either direction, ie in practice intakes of sodium chloride greater than 12 g per day, or less than 5 g per day. This leads one to advise actual consumption of 6 to 8 g per day

The value 100% in the RNI Nutrimeter ® is 6 g of sodium chloride. The minimum is 80% and maximum 200% on the Nutrimeter ®.

Sodium representing 39.4% of sodium chloride, the value 100% in the RNI Nutrimeter ® 2.36 g of sodium per day

(Source: "Recommended dietary allowances for the French population," the CNERNA-CNRS. Edition coordinated by Ambroise Martin.)