Overview

Sodium is a type of metal that is always found as a salt. The most common dietary form is sodium chloride. Sodium chloride is commonly called table salt.

Table salt accounts for 90% of dietary sodium intake in the US. Sodium helps to balance levels of fluids and electrolytes in the body. This balance can affect blood pressure and the health of the kidneys and heart.

People use sodium in the form of inhaled sodium chloride for cystic fibrosis. It is also used for low sodium levels, to prevent kidney toxicity caused by the drug amphotericin B, and for many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these other uses.

Don't confuse sodium with the sodium bicarbonate salt. These are not the same.

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