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Potassium

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 01.06.2018
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Potassium (K) is very important for the body. Potassium is contained in the walls of cells and capillaries; liver, endocrine glands, nerve cells can not function normally with its lack. Did you know that potassium is contained in 50% of all body fluids?

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10]

What you need to know about potassium

Potassium together with chlorine (Cl) and sodium (Na), is the element, the need for which is greatest in our body. The amount of potassium is 250 g, of which only 3 g are part of extracellular fluids. Potassium is the main element in plant products.

The need for potassium every day

Every day, along with food, we should consume 3 to 5 g of potassium.

Under what conditions does the need for potassium increase?

With strong physical activity and sports, it is worth to increase the amount of potassium that enters the body with food. If you take diuretics or you have severe sweating (they can lead to potassium loss), then you should consume more foods that contain potassium.

Useful potassium qualities when exposed to the body

Potassium with the help of chlorine (Cl) and sodium (Na) is involved in maintaining the salt balance of cells, provides a balance of fluids in the cells and tissues of the body, maintains the normal osmotic pressure in the cells. Potassium has an alkaline effect in maintaining the acid-base balance together with sodium (Na), magnesium (Mg), and calcium (Ca).

With a lack of potassium, glucose can not be converted into energy, so the muscles stop shrinking and freeze, thereby causing complete paralysis.

Thanks to potassium, the heart rate, regulation of pressure, normal passage of the nerve impulse and reduction of all muscle groups are controlled. With its help, liquids are eliminated from the body, it ensures the absence of depressions, supplies oxygen to the brain cells, removes toxins and protects against strokes. The role of potassium in the body is almost invaluable!

In all processes of the body, potassium participates together with sodium (Na), or rather in one combination (sodium antagonist), and in order for your body to be completely healthy, their ratio should be 1: 2. If you have an increased amount of sodium, then its bad effect can be weakened by taking an additional amount of potassium.

Potassium Digestibility

Potassium is perfectly absorbed through the walls of the stomach and intestines, and is excreted in the urine. Potassium is practically the same as it was consumed.

Signs of lack of potassium in the body

With insufficient intake of potassium, there may be leakages, drowsiness, and apathy. Because of the violation of muscle functions, people often have seizures, they feel muscle weakness. The rhythm of the heart can also be lost, because of this there is an arrhythmia. Frequent vomiting and constipation is a clear sign of a lack of potassium in the body. According to statistics, the probability of death in stroke in men increases by 3 times, if the level of potassium in the body is low.

Signs of an overabundance of potassium

Clear signs of excess potassium in the body include: anger, heart disorders, loss of sensitivity in the extremities, increased urination. As with a deficiency, and with an overabundance of potassium, an arrhythmia may occur.

What affects the content of potassium in the body?

When cooking or soaking products in water, potassium moves to it. If in the future this water is not used, then together with it all potassium is lost.

Why is there an overabundance of potassium in the body?

The formation of excess potassium in the body is when the work of the kidneys or adrenals, which lead to excess potassium in the urine. If a person uses potassium-containing drugs or uses a substitute for table salt, he may have an overabundance of potassium.

Why there is a shortage of potassium?

Potassium deficiency can occur with the intake of sodium-containing drugs, as well as with excessive intake of table salt. The reason for the deficiency of potassium can serve as the intake of food products containing exclusively sodium (Na) and ignoring products containing potassium.

With improper cooking, potassium can also be lost. The use of hormones for the adrenal cortex, diuretic herbs and preparations can significantly reduce the level of potassium in the body and, accordingly, raise the level of sodium (Na).

Coffee promotes the withdrawal of potassium from the body, so if you eat it often, take the trouble to provide yourself with additional potassium. Alcohol is also on the list of "substances that produce potassium." Stresses have the property of delaying sodium (Na), and the amount of potassium in the body - reduce.

Foods rich in potassium

Everyone loves sweets, but not everyone knows that sweets such as dried apricots, raisins or prunes are very rich in potassium (from 860 to 1700 mg). They are joined by nuts: walnut contains 474 mg of potassium, peanuts - 658 mg, cashews - 553 mg, almonds - 748 mg, cedar - 628 mg. Ordinary potatoes contain about 568 mg of potassium, and mustard - as much as 608 mg. All these products are worth using to maintain the balance of potassium in the body.

trusted-source[11], [12], [13], [14]

The interaction of potassium with other elements 

If you increase potassium intake, more sodium (Na) will be output. With a deficiency of magnesium (Mg), potassium uptake may be impaired.

It is important to know!

Potassium in the urine is an important marker, an indicator of normal, healthy nutrition, as well as the state of the hormonal system, assessing the degree of intoxication, if one is diagnosed. In addition, potassium in the urine is a sign of the normal functioning of the kidneys. Read more..

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