Although for many people, when chlorine is mentioned, the first association is a means of cleaning water in swimming pools, chlorine is an important “cleaner” in our body.
It is a macroelement that, together with sodium and potassium, is needed in large quantities by the human body. It is involved in the regulation of osmotic balance and water and salt metabolism and is concentrated mainly in the skin (30%-60%) and is also present in the composition of intercellular fluid, blood, and bones. In the ionized state, the body contains up to one kilogram of it.
In addition to its important function as an electrolyte, chlorine combines with hydrogen in the stomach to form hydrochloric acid, a powerful digestive enzyme whose function is to break down proteins and absorb other minerals. Hydrochloric acid is one of the main components of stomach acid and is necessary for the digestion of food, which would be extremely difficult without chlorine.
After use in hydrochloric acid, the bowel absorbs part of the chlorine, and it returns to the bloodstream where it is needed to maintain the optimal volume of intercellular fluids. The constant exchange of chlorine and bicarbonate between red blood cells and plasma helps maintain pH balance and remove carbon dioxide from the body. Chlorine also helps to cleanse the body of toxins and participates in reducing accumulated fat in the liver and blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
The main sources of chlorine for our body are salt, cereals, legumes, olives, meat, eggs, and vegetables such as carrots, parsley, celery, kale, lettuce or eggplant, and mushrooms.