Potassium is an important mineral that the body needs to function properly. It is a water-soluble mineral meaning it cannot build up in the body. Therefore they do not reach toxic levels.
- Hyperkalemia is a condition wherein there is too much potassium in the blood.
- Hypokalemia a condition wherein there is too little potassium in the blood.
- Potassium supplementation is important for people taking certain types of diuretics.
- Fruits and vegetable provide a high ratio of potassium to sodium.
- Most multivitamins contain potassium.
- Potassium supplements are not allowed to contain more than 99mg per dose. A dose of 500 to 3,000 mg is used by doctors for the therapeutic treatment of hypertension.
- Enough supply of Magnesium is needed to maintain the normal level of potassium in the body.
- Coffee and alcohol can increase the amount of potassium excreted in the urine.
- If you have kidney disease, you should not take potassium supplements without specific instructions from your doctor. Also, potassium supplement should not be used without a doctor’s recommendation by people who are taking ibupropen, or naproxen, or potassium depleting diuretics (such as lasix and thiazide diuretics), and chemotherapy drugs.
Benefits of Potassium:
- Potassium is a heart-friendly mineral and helps the heart in pumping blood. It controls the blood pressure and also minimizes the risk of stroke.
- Potassium is required for the proper growth of muscles. Potassium deficiency can lead to muscle weakness.
- Potassium helps in keeping iodine levels in the thyroid in proper balance.
- Potassium is important for proper nerve functioning and regulating the transfer of nutrients into cells.
- Potassium aids arthritic conditions (causing acids to leave the joints and ease stiffness).
- Potassium assists the kidneys in removal of toxic wastes by the process of excretion.
- Potassium is essential for the normal functioning of the brain. It aids in learning and memory, it also helps reduce mental stress and anxiety.
- Potassium helps in controlling headaches and migraines.
- Potassium helps in faster healing of bruises and cuts, and also helps to heal burns.
Potassium Deficiency Symptoms:
- Muscle fatigue
- Irregular pulse rate
- Rapid heart beat
- Paralytic ileus
- Muscle cramps while jogging
- Lack of appetite
- Mental apathy
- Muscle weakness
- Actual paralysis of the muscles
Causes of Potassium Deficiency:
- Excessive sweating
- Frequent urination (caused by diuretics medications)
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- High Sodium intake
- Magnesium deficiency
Daily Requirements: 3-5 gm.
Supplemental Dosage: Usually unnecessary.
How to Buy Potassium Supplement:
- It is important to be very careful in choosing a top quality supplement when buying your mineral, including potassium. Many products on the market are simply “thrown together” and many of the ingredients can end up canceling each other out or even have harmful consequences. Moreover, supplements that are not scientifically formulated generally have poor bioavailability, which means that most of the ingredients will simply pass through the system and excreted with little to no benefit.
- Choose a mineral supplement that uses the chelated form. Chelated minerals are ones that are attached to protein molecules, which in turns allows them easier transport into the bloodstream for better absorption.
Foods with Potassium: Potassium is found in many different foods, but particularly in fruits and vegetables. Good sources include carrots, avocados, tomatoes, apples, bananas, and oranges. Dulse, a type of seaweeds, is particularly high in potassium. Meat, fish and milk are also good sources of potassium.
Potassium Side Effects:
- Potassium taken in excess can throw off your electrolyte balance and slow your heart down to dangerous levels.
- Don’t take more than 99 mg daily in supplement form because it can irritate your stomach.
- Too high a dosage of potassium supplements can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and ulcers.