Function of NaCl

Does NaCl affect blood pressure?

Also, do our neurons need NaCl to function? I know that neurons rely on Na+ ions, but do these ions come from NaCl? :dubious:

Sodium chloride doesn’t exist in solution, it becomes sodium and chloride ions; as far as I know, aside from stomach acid, chloride doesn’t have any function except to make a neutral ionic solution (if you just had sodium in water, it would form an alkaline solution, same for many other ions like potassium, calcium, etc).

As for sodium (which doesn’t have to come from NaCl), it does have numerous biological uses, including, as you noted, nerve and muscle cells, along with potassium, although excessive amounts increase blood pressure because your body was designed in retain salt (it used to be considered valuable due to its rarity), which in turn causes more fluid to be retained, there may also be direct effects as well (one thing that is noted is that the ratio of dietary sodium/potassium has a bigger correlation with blood pressure than sodium alone).

Does NaCl dissociate in blood?


Oh, let me guess, it probably does. Blood plasma is mostly water.

Yes, in blood and inside cells, and in pleura, and in… As you realized, body liquids are acqueous solutions.

Chloride channels play a role in regulating the excitability of nerve cells, their resting potential and in regulating the cell volume. A mutation in a chloride channel is the cause of cystic fibrosis

It doesn’t have to, but in practice, it mostly does.

I just swallow elemental sodium whole.

Tastes like burning.

Ok, what’s Sodium?

Sodium has a number of absolutely critical roles to play in the body.

Every cell has an electrical gradient in its membrane which is essential for the cell’s normal function and for transport over its membrane (in both directions). Specialized cells in the brain, nerves, and muscles (including the heart) need this gradient to conduct signals or to contract/beat. Sodium is the KEY ion involved in maintaining said gradient.

Sodium is also the key ion responsible for regulating the volume of water in our bloodstreams (and, so, indirectly, our blood pressure).