New reference values for sodium, chloride and potassium: Estimates apply to adequate intake
The German Nutrition Society (DGE) has updated the reference values for the intake of sodium, chloride and potassium. The estimates are based on new scientific data, informs the DGE. They are no longer specified for the minimum intake as before, but for an adequate intake. For sodium, a daily intake of 1,500 mg is now considered appropriate for adults. It is 2,300 mg for chloride and 4,000 mg for potassium. For breastfeeding women, the estimate of an adequate intake of potassium is 4,400 mg per day due to the increased need.
Sodium, chloride and potassium are vital for the body. They are among the most important electrolytes and regulate the water and acid-base balance.
Sodium and potassium are used to build up the electrical voltage on the cell membranes. This is the prerequisite for the transmission of nerve impulses that control muscle contractions and heart function, among other things. Potassium ensures the enzyme function and is involved in the formation of proteins and glycogen.
Sodium and chloride are primarily absorbed through table salt (chemically: sodium chloride) and through food. For most Germans, the salt intake exceeds the target 6 g per day. The salt content of a pre-packaged food must be indicated on the label. A high sodium intake increases the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases, while a potassium-rich diet can lower blood pressure.
Nutritionists recommend a diet that provides the body with comparatively little sodium and a lot of potassium. This includes a lot of fruit and vegetables, but little processed products such as bread, sausages, cheese and finished products. Seasoning with spices and herbs saves salt. Potassium is mainly found in hazelnuts, almonds, dried fruit, spelled and wholemeal rye flour. Heike Kreutz, aid