All you need to know about Potassium Mineral Nutrient

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Potassium (K) is an important mineral and is largely found intracelluar and a very small proportion of just 2% is found extracellular. Potassium is required for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in the human body.The average body Potassium content is approximately 140gms and its recommended dietary Intake is 5,000 mg/d. Dietary deficiency of potassium frequently goes undiagnosed because the element is ubiquitous in fruits and vegetables, and symptoms are generally vague and non-specific. Consuming a diet high in processed foods and sodium, can easily result in a mild or chronic Potassium deficiency called hypokalemia. Having too much potassium in the blood is called hyperkalemia.

Physiological Function of Mineral Nutrient Potassium

Potassium is vital mineral nutrient and has a very important role to play in triggering the action potential for muscle and nerve cell activity. Potassium is an  electrolyte and conducts electricity in the body, along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for normal digestive and muscular function.

Causes of Deficiency of Mineral Nutrient Potassium

Potassium as a mineral nutrients is acquired by the body through vegetables and fruits. However Potassium deficiency could occur due to:

  • Reduced consumption of fruits and vegetables
  • Increased consumption of processed food rich, which are rich in sodium
  • Older age, when kidneys are less efficient at eliminating potassium from food
  • Medication that may affect potassium levels, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and ACE inhibitors
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Irritable Bowl Syndrome
  • Excessive sweating
  • Malnutrition

Health concerns due to Potassium deficiency

Potassium deficiency is called Hypokalemia and it may result into:

  • Cardiac failure
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Nerve injury
  • Muscle weakness
  • Arrhythmia
  • Tetany
  • Hypertension
  • kidney ston osteoporosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Irritable Bowl Syndrome

Assessment of Potassium Mineral Status

RBC Potassium, Serum, Hair

Supplementation of Potassium mineral Nutrient

Children 2-12 years: 50-150 mg

Adult Male: 150-300 mg

Adult Female: 150-300 mg

Best or most Bio-Available or Active form of Potassium Supplement

Citrate and Chloride Salts such as potassium citrate, potassium chloride, and potassium gluconate.

Dietary Source of Potassium Mineral Nutrient

Good sources of Potassium are:

  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Mango
  • Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Meat
  • Fish (such as salmon, cod, and flounder)
  • Dairy products
  • Citrus juices (such as orange juice)
  • Cantaloupes
  • Lima beans
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Anupama Singh

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The information in our articles are NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are not intended as medical advice.

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