• Question: How much salt, NaCl, is in the average adult human body

    Asked by batman to Colin, John, Kevin, Shikha, Triona on 17 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Kevin Motherway

      Kevin Motherway answered on 17 Nov 2014:

      You body contains not just NaCl but many other salts, of which sodium chloride is the key one, making about 0.4 % of the body’s weight a level that is close to seawater and that’s why if you’ve ever stuck a cut finger in your mouth it tastes salty you. So a 50kg person would contain around 200g of NaCL (50,000 grams x 0.004 = 200 g). That’s around the same salt as contained in 250 bags worth of Tayto Salt & Vinegar. You also loose a lot of salt through sweat and it needs to be constantly replenished, but go easy on the crisps as there’s loads of hidden salt in processed foods!

    • Photo: Shikha Sharma

      Shikha Sharma answered on 17 Nov 2014:

      Hi batman,

      Sodium chloride is necessary for body to maintain fluid balance; it helps our muscles to relax and nerves to transmit signals. And another important function is it helps to maintain normal blood pressure. It consists of two important separate minerals, sodium and chloride. A human body contains approximately, 0.15% by weight chlorine and 0.15% by weight sodium. This means around 200 grams of salt. The daily requirement of these minerals depends on the age.
      According to the Food Standards Agency (UK), the human Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) should be,
      Age 11 years and over, 6g per day (2300 mg sodium)
      Age 7-10 years, 5g per day
      Age 4-6 years, 3g per day
      Age 1-3 years, 2g per day.
      Infants under 1 year should not be given salt because their kidneys are not matured.