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Potassium



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Chapter 12 : Potassium



Potassium arrow_upward


  • Potassium is an essential dietary mineral and electrolyte.
  • The term electrolyte refers to a substance that dissociates into ions (charged particles) in solution, making it capable of conducting electricity.
  • Normal body function depends on tight regulation of potassium concentrations both inside and outside of cells.

  • Functions of Potassium arrow_upward


  • Regulates heart function
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Essential for protein and nucleic acid synthesis
  • Required for normal fluid balance
  • Fundamental for normal nerve and muscle function
  • Converts glucose into glycogen (muscle fuel)
  • Important role in kidney function
  • Helps lungs eliminate carbon dioxide
  • Needed to maintain acid/alkali balance

  • Sources of Potassium arrow_upward


  • Raisins
  • Prunes
  • Apricots
  • Dates
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Citrus fruits
  • Beets
  • Spinach

  • Daily Dose of Potassium arrow_upward



    Group

    Age

    Dose/day

    Infants

    0-6 months

    400 mg

    7-12 months

    700 mg

    Children

    1-3 years

    3 grams

    4-8 years

    3.8 grams

    9-18 years

    4.5 grams

    Adults

    19 years and older

    4.7 grams

    Pregnant women

    4.7 grams

    Breastfeeding women

    5.1 grams



    Deficiency Symptoms of Potassium arrow_upward


  • Muscular weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Temporary memory loss
  • Unusual anxiety and confusion
  • Improper digestion leading to constipation
  • Kidney diseases such as acute renal failure
  • Improper sleep
  • Hypertension
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Weakness in the body
  • Excessive thirst
  • Dry skin
  • Acne and other skin problems
  • Heart palpitations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Abnormal psychological behavior

  • Excessive Intake and Toxicity Symptoms arrow_upward


  • Elevated blood levels of potassium can be toxic, and may cause an irregular heartbeat or even heart attack.
  • Under most circumstances, the body maintains blood levels of potassium within a tight range, so it is not usually possible to produce symptoms of toxicity through intake of potassium-containing foods and/or supplements.
  • However, high intakes of potassium salts (potassium chloride and potassium bicarbonate) may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or ulcers.


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