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Sodium is a mineral that is naturally present in food only in relatively small amounts. Most sodium is added during food processing and preparation in the form of sodium chloride (NaCl) - table salt. In this form, it serves not only to influence taste and preservation, but also to achieve a certain consistency in some foods.

In the food industry, various sodium salts are used for technological purposes as auxiliary agents and additives, for example sodium phosphates, sodium carbonates, sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, sodium cyclamate or sodium alginate. However, the largest share of our sodium intake comes from its use as table salt. Drinking water, mineral water and table water also contribute to sodium intake.

In combination with other electrolytes such as chloride and potassium, sodium plays a role in a variety of processes in the human body, including the regulation of water balance and blood pressure, the transport of substances across cell membranes and the transmission of nerve signals.

The calculations on sodium intake currently available for the Federal Republic of Germany indicate that both the estimated values for a minimum sodium intake (550 milligrams (mg) per day for adolescents and adults) and the maximum recommended intake of table salt (6000 mg NaCl per day) are exceeded by the population on average. A long-term increased intake of table salt is associated with the development of various diseases. There is a high level of evidence that the currently consumed amounts of table salt increase the risk of high blood pressure in the population and that high blood pressure is directly linked to the form of cardiovascular and kidney diseases.

Proposed maximum level for the addition of sodium to food supplements (per daily dose of an individual product)

Höchstmenge Natrium_en

Taking into account the supply situation of the German population as well as the health risks associated with a high sodium or salt intake, there are no discernible reasons for the targeted use of sodium in food supplements. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) therefore recommends not adding sodium for nutritional purposes.



Eine Initiative des BfR:

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