Sodium is needed in small amounts by the body . It acts as an electrolyte, helping maintain the balance of water both in and around cells. Sodium is also essential for healthy nerve and muscle function.
Salt (sodium chloride) is a source of sodium and is found in some breads, ready meals and snacks, as well as being present in small amounts in all foods. Too much sodium can increase blood pressure, with the associated risk of stroke and heart failure. Excess amounts of sodium are also linked to osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney disease.