Chlorine in the Human Body
Importance of chlorine in the human body can be seen from the function that this element plays in the body. Chlorine exists in the human body in form of chloride ion. In the extracellular fluid, chlorine exists as sodium chloride and in the cells it exists as potassium chloride. Chloride ions are also found in red blood cells.
In the body, chlorine combines with sodium to form sodium chloride which keeps the body from getting dehydrated. Sodium chloride also keeps the muscles moving, attacks germs as well as enhancing transformation of meals into energy that the body needs to survive.
Body cells exist in a fluid sea. This body fluid is made of a high percentage of water and charged atoms of chloride and sodium. Chloride atoms play a very important role in ensuring balance in the body. They ensure electrical neutrality while maintaining the right pressure of the body fluids as well as keeping a balance of the acid and base in the body.
One of the results of the balancing act of chlorine in the body is a relatively constant amount of water retained and salt concentrations in the body over time. The body does not dry up or bloat uncontrollably. The balance is reasserted automatically whenever there is a change in the body. For instance, this balance occurs after engaging in a heavy physical activity that results in perspiration which requires salt. Balancing also occur after consuming excessively salty food.
Sodium ions are very important in enhancing communication of the body parts and organs through muscle movements. The nervous system is also important in communication because it helps in relaying of impulses. Sodium ions play a very important role in transmitting impulses to the muscles from the brain via nerve cells network. Chloride ions play important role in this communication because they help in balancing sodium levels in the body. They cause a balanced electrical charge in the nervous system.
Chlorine also helps in digestion because hydrochloric acid is formed from chloride ions. This acid is important for the digestion system because it helps in destroying germs that may be consumed with food and in the breakdown of proteins in the food ensuring that essential nutrients are availed to the body.
The immune system which fights germs and other disease causing organisms needs help of chlorine. Chlorine in hypochlorite that forms in the white blood cells helps the immune system in fighting germs.
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