Sodium is an essential element for life. Sodium ions are used in opposition to potassium ions, to allow build-up of electrostatic charge on cell membranes which allows transmission of nerve impulses. This homeostasis is vital to the normal physiologic function of cells
Potassium is necessary for the function of all living cells and employs electrical potentials in cells, especially the nervous tissues. Potassium depletion results in various neurological dysfunctions.
Over 300 enzymes require the presence of magnesium ions for their catalytic action. Low levels of magnesium in the body have been associated with the development of a number of human illnesses such as asthma, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Calcium in the body aids in exocytosis, especially neurotransmitter release and muscle contraction. In the electrical conduction system of the heart, calcium replaces sodium as the mineral that depolarizes the cell, proliferating the action potential.
The human body needs chloride for its metabolism (the process of turning food into energy) while helping keep the body’s acid-base balance. The right amount of chloride in the blood is necessary for maintenance of osmotic pressure in the tissue.