Potassium dietary mineral
Potassium is one of the electrolytes we all require to maintain health.
Potassium is required for
It is needed for growth, building muscles, transmission of nerve impulses, heart activity etc.
Potassium, together with sodium - potassium inside the cell and sodium in the fluid surrounding the cell, work together for the nervous system to transmit messages as well as regulating the contraction of muscles.
Deficiency of potassium
The kidneys excrete any excesses, but deficiencies are seldom found in people on normal diets, although most people could look at increasing their potassium intake. A deficiency may result in fatigue, cramping legs, muscle weakness, slow reflexes, acne, dry skin, mood changes, irregular heartbeat.
If you are into bodybuilding, it is also a good idea to increase your potassium intake, since potassium is needed to maintain your muscles in good form, controlling your muscle actions, and since potassium is lost in excessive sweating and urine. A great way to include this in your diet is to have a banana, citrus fruit or even a dash of apple cider vinegar.
The dosage underneath is the (RDA), but be aware that this dosage is the minimum that you require per day, to ward off serious deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.
A daily intake of about 3,500 milligrams is needed. Potassium is well absorbed, but is not stored in large quantities in the body.
Toxicity and symptoms of high intake
Excessive potassium can be toxic and will affect your heart, but is mainly a problem when you suffer from a problem such as kidney failure.
Best used with
A person should take twice as much potassium as sodium, and is best taken with vitamin B6.
When more potassium may be required
Potassium is easily lost in the urine, and if large amounts of salt is ingested, it may be wise to take a potassium supplement. If you are suffering from vomiting, diarrhea or extreme sweating you may require more potassium or if your diet includes mostly processed foods, large amounts of caffeine, alcohol, or if you take diuretic pills or laxatives.
If you suffer from diabetes, or suffer from kidney problems do not take a potassium supplement without your doctors consent.
Enemy of element
Potassium is lost from food when canning.
Other interesting points on potassium
If you suffer from kidney stones, you might benefit from increasing high potassium containing foods in your diet to supply more potassium to your body, as higher potassium levels have proved helpful in preventing kidney stones.
Potassium is found in fruit, vegetables as well as whole grains, citrus fruit, molasses, fish and unprocessed meats