Potassium – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources


Acid/Alkaline :: Alkaline -forming

What is Potassium ?

Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body and is considered an electrolyte. The human body has about a 4 1/2 ounce supply and most of it is located inside muscle cells. Potassium is an electrolyte (a substance that maintains your body’s fluid levels), this mineral helps regulate blood pressure and heart function. Research shows that increasing your potassium intake can lower your blood pressure. Those individuals with existing hypertension, as well as those just looking to keep their blood pressure in check, can benefit from potassium.

Uses and Benefits of Potassium

  • Balances body fluids, regulates nervous and muscular irritability.
  • Aids in formation of glycogen from glucose, fats from glycogen, proteins from pep tones and pro teases.
  • Potassium helps control convulsions, headaches and migraines, promotes faster healing of cuts, bruises and other injuries and generally contributes to a sense of well being.
  • May cure acne, allergies, alcoholism, heart disease and help to heal burns.
  • Potassium also regulates water balance and assists recuperative powers.
  • Body builders use a “potassium load” to give their muscles more energy but there is no scientific proof of its effectiveness.

Recommended Dosage of Potassium

The minimum Recommended Dosage Allowance of Potassium are :-

  • Adult – 2000 mg.
  • Children – 1500 mg.

Deficiency Symptoms of Potassium

Heart arrhythmias, shortness of breath, weakness in muscles, poor digestion and utilization. Slowed growth, paralysis, sterility, mental apathy and confusion, kidney damage. Dry skin, acne, chills, insomnia, decreased reflex response, glucose intolerance. Potassium deficiency can occur with chronic diarrhea, vomiting, diabetic acidosis, kidney disease, or prolonged use of laxatives or diuretics.

Toxicity: Excess intake of potassium can cause high concentration of the element in blood, disturbances in heart and kidney function, and alterations in fluid balance. Fatalities may result when high levels of potassium in the bloodstream cause heart attacks.

Rich Food Sources of Potassium

All fruits and vegetables, especially dark green leafy ones. Kelp, dulse, seeds, figs, celery, mushrooms, dried fruits, potatoes, avocados, broccoli, legumes, papaya, raisins, brown rice, Brussels sprouts, bananas, and watermelon.

Toxic sources: Prescription drugs, especially some diuretics, can cause excessive potassium loss from the body. Also, chronic diarrhea and diabetic acidosis.

Note: Excess Vitamin D can contribute to potassium loss and the suppression of thyroid function. Same with PABA supplementation. Also, potassium deficiency (or loss) is also affected by magnesium, zinc, and iron deficiency.

Useful References

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