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A silver-white soft light low-melting monovalent metallic element of the alkali metal group that happens abundantly in nature particularly combined in minerals. [1]

The essentials of potassium

Potassium is an essential mineral that is required by all tissues in the body. It is sometimes referred to as an electrolyte since it brings a small electrical charge that triggers different cell and nerve functions. Potassium is discovered naturally in numerous foods and as a supplement. Its primary role in the body is to help preserve typical levels of fluid inside our cells. Salt, its counterpart, preserves regular fluid levels outside of cells. Potassium also helps muscles to contract and supports typical high blood pressure. [2]


Potassium salts in the form of saltpeter (potassium nitrate, KNO3), alum (potassium aluminum sulfate, KAl( SO4) 2), and potash (potassium carbonate, K2CO3) have been understood for centuries. They were used in gunpowder, coloring, and soap making. They were scraped from the walls of latrines, produced from clay and sulfuric acid, and gathered as wood ash respectively. Reducing them to the aspect beat the early chemists and potassium was classified as an ‘earth’ by Antoine Lavoisier. Then in 1807, Humphry Davy exposed moist potash to an electrical present and observed the formation of metal globules of new metal, potassium. He noted that when they were dropped into water they skimmed around on the surface, burning with a lavender-coloured flame. [3]

System of action

Potassium ion is the primary intracellular cation found in essentially all body tissues. The total amount of body potassium in adults is approximated at 45 millimole (mmol)/ kg body weight (about 140 g for an adult weighing 175 pounds; 1 mmol = 1 milliequivalent or 39.1 mg of potassium). Potassium primarily remains in cells, and a percentage can be discovered in the extracellular fluid. The amount of potassium that stays in the cell (intracellular) is 30 times that of extracellular concentration, creating a trans membrane gradient, regulated by the sodium-potassium (Na+/ K+) ATPase transporter. This is an important gradient for nerve conduction, contraction, and kidney function. Throwing up, diarrhea, kidney disease, medications, and other conditions that alter potassium excretion or shift it inside or beyond cells. In healthy clients’ people with regular renal function, considerably high or low potassium levels are rare.

Impact on blood pressure

Potassium reduces intravascular volume, by reducing sodium reabsorption through an increase in urinary salt excretion. This short-term result, however, does not describe the long-lasting effects of potassium on high blood pressure. Increased plasma potassium levels that happen through intake are connected with vasodilation occurring through stimulation of the sodium-potassium adenosine triphosphatase pump (Na+/- K+ATP ase) and opening of potassium channels of the sodium-potassium adenosine triphosphatase pump. Other possible systems of action for potassium might consist of changes in barroreflex level of sensitivity and hormone level of sensitivity in vascular smooth muscle and cells of the considerate nerve system.

Effect on electrolyte balance and body systems

The potassium gradient across the membrane of a cell manages cell membrane potential, kept mainly by the sodium-potassium (Na+/- K+ ATPase pump). Transmembrane electro-chemical gradients encourage diffusion of Na+ extracellularly and K+ intracellularly. Potassium supplementation avoids hypokalemia to preserve this balance and is frequently utilized in an oral service or injection form in the clinical setting, avoiding harmful effects such as arrhythmias, abnormal muscle function, and neurological disturbances. When triggered, the Na+/- K+ ATPase pump exchanges 2 extracellular K+ ions for three intracellular sodium (Na+) ions, impacting membrane potential by means of either excitation or inhibition. This is specifically important in the homeostasis of the nerve system, kidney, and cardiac muscle tissue. The body and cell circulations of potassium in regular conditions are referred to as internal and external balance, respectively. Lowered serum potassium (or imbalance) increases the danger of ventricular arrhythmia, cardiac arrest and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). [4]

Health Advantages of Potassium

It is often considered an important nutrient that cures high blood pressure, minimizes stress and anxiety and tension, and enhances much more health conditions. Let’s have a look at the typical advantages in detail.

Stimulates Neural Activity

It plays a crucial role in keeping brain function at a regular level. High levels of potassium enable more oxygen to reach the brain, thus stimulating neural activity and increasing cognitive function. There is an excellent reason why individuals call bananas brain food; they consist of remarkably high levels of this mineral.

It is of great importance in preventing the occurrence of stroke in the human brain. Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor and Kay-Tee Shaw, M. Sc., through their research, found that a high intake of potassium from food sources might secure against stroke-associated death. It is clear that individuals at high threat for this awful condition are typically discovered to be deficient in this vital nutrient. Considering that it acts as a vasodilator, the capillary unwind throughout the body when a correct amount of this mineral is taken in. This means that blood flows more freely and is less likely to clot and break off to trigger strokes.

Stabilizes Blood Sugar Level

Studies suggest that lower levels of potassium are connected with a higher threat of diabetes. A research study published by a team of scientists from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA, discovered a link in between high levels of insulin/glucose and low levels of potassium in people who were otherwise considered to be healthy. This is likewise why those experiencing diabetes are encouraged to keep their potassium levels normal, to decrease the chances of unforeseeable spikes and plunges in their glucose and insulin levels by supporting the blood sugar level levels throughout the body. Medical professionals consider low levels of potassium with high levels of insulin as attributes of developing diabetes.

Decreases Muscle Disorders

An adequate concentration of this mineral is needed for the routine contraction and relaxation of muscles. Most of the potassium ions in the human body are located in the muscle cells. It keeps ideal muscle and nerve function and assists keep our reflexes fast due to the fact that it stimulates the neural connectivity of muscles and the brain.

Avoids Cramps

Muscle cramps are a typical outcome of low levels of potassium in the blood, a condition called hypokalemia (source: Journal of Athletic Training). If you consume a banana every day, you can quickly avoid muscle cramps because bananas have rich potassium content.

Boosts Bone Health

The benefits of potassium even extend to improving the health of your bones. There are certain qualities of this mineral that reduce the effects of various acids in the body, which helps in retaining and protecting calcium, making it accessible to utilize for bone strength and durability. Furthermore, a study at the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center states that consuming fruits and vegetables having high levels of this mineral leads to higher mineral density in bones, even more reinforcing and prolonging their life.

Controls Neural Function

Potassium channels play a key role in keeping the electrical conductivity of the brain and drastically impacting the brain function. It is also involved in higher brain function like memory and knowing. In addition to this, ailments like epilepsy are related to the dysfunction of potassium channels that can happen through its deficiency. There are potassium currents that play a major function in mammalian nerve cells. These channels are adjoined with a large selection of neural function and can assist moderate and manage electrical currents throughout the body.

Stabilizes High Blood Pressure

Potassium is handy in reversing the role of sodium in unbalancing typical high blood pressure, as researched by Cappuccio Francesco P et al. published in the Journal of Hypertension. Therefore, it serves as a crucial component that preserves the normality of blood pressure in the body. This more minimizes the threat of heart diseases and hypertension. Policy of high blood pressure is one of the most crucial functions of this effective mineral. As discussed earlier, it has vasodilation homes that work to ease the stress of capillary, which is among the primary causes of high blood pressure.

Reinforces Muscles

One of the useful benefits of potassium is its function in guaranteeing the correct growth of muscle tissues and the usage of energy launched during metabolism, which adds substantially to muscular strength. The muscles, including those critical heart muscles, are prone to paralysis due to a deficiency of potassium in an individual’s diet plan.

Stimulating cell development and offering the metabolic energy to do so is an important function of potassium and muscular health would be compromised without it. Likewise, without the contraction and relaxation that potassium permits muscles to carry out, exercise and extra muscle training would be impossible.

Enhances Metabolism

Potassium assists in the metabolic processing of different nutrients like fats and carbs. Hence, it is of a great value in drawing out energy from the nutrients that are consumed. Detailed research studies performed in Denmark have revealed that this mineral is also an important part of the synthesis of protein, which has an effect on tissue regrowth, cell development, and total balanced metabolic process.

Lowers Anxiety & Stress

Potassium is of terrific value for people suffering from unwanted mindsets like anxiety and tension. It is considered a powerful tension buster and therefore, makes sure an effective psychological performance. Anxiety and stress are extremely damaging to other parts of the health and any reward from things like potassium is thought about a great idea if you experience chronic stress. This mineral can assist control different hormonal agents in your body, including stress hormonal agents like cortisol and adrenaline, excess quantities of which can be harmful to the body.

Increases Heart Health

The health benefits of potassium guarantee health for the heart in addition to the kidneys. It plays an irreplaceable role in managing the metabolic process and keeping the heart and kidneys running smoothly. In addition, this mineral assists the kidneys in removing waste through the process of excretion. Nevertheless, it is strongly recommended to consult your physician to get recommendations about potassium dose, due to the fact that it can assist stimulate the body to take in more calcium than needed, which can actually calcify and trigger kidney issues, instead of fix them.

Maintains Water Balance

Another substantial function that potassium plays remains in the upkeep of an optimum fluid balance in the human body. Different kinds of cells require a proper water balance for efficient performance and potassium aids these cells in regulating the balance. Fluid balance keeps all of our organ systems working in one method or the other, which is why many individuals advise eating bananas after athletic events or after a night of heavy drinking, in order to rehydrate and enhance fluid balance.

Regulates the Level of Fluids

Potassium is likewise a great electrolyte in the body. It assists in managing the level of fluids in the body and therefore help in a number of vital body functions. In addition, electrolytes assist transmit electrical charges throughout the body from the brain and nerve system, so additional electrolytes keep everything functioning faster.

Improves Nervous System

Potassium assists increase the effectiveness of nerve reflexes that transmit the message from one body part to another. This, in turn, assists in contraction to perform numerous activities every day without burning out quickly, which is further benefited by potassium and is needed to induce muscle contraction and function.

Word of Care: Excess of this mineral in the body can be damaging; for example, patients with kidney concerns who can not properly process this mineral, might have precariously high levels. This can cause heart problem, muscle paralysis, troubled breathing, tingling in the hands and feet, heart arrhythmia, and queasiness. Potassium can be an amazing addition to specific diets, however constantly take care that you don’t overdo, and if you select to consist of potassium supplements in your diet plan, consult your doctor initially. [5]


Individuals with unusual kidney function and those on potassium-sparing medications or ACE inhibitors, which are typically utilized for treating hypertension, might need to monitor their intake of potassium and probably must not be on a potassium supplement. If for some reason your doctor has actually recommended this anyway, your blood will be monitored closely to prevent hyperkalemia (high blood potassium).

If you’re taking certain medications, you should prevent taking potassium supplements. These kinds of medications include spironolactone, triamterene, amiloride, captopril, enalapril, fosinopril, indomethacin, ibuprofen, ketorolac, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, pentamidine, heparin, digitalis, β-blockers, α-blockers, losartan, valsartan, irbesartan, and candesartan.

Whenever you have a question about possible interactions, consult your healthcare provider.

Water Tablets Undermine Potassium

People who take water tablets (likewise called diuretics) are often prescribed potassium at the same time. This since as the body eliminates extra fluid, it likewise flushes out electrolytes like potassium.

Meet Your Potassium Requirements

The ideal method to fulfill your potassium requires is to consume a range of entire foods consisting of fruits like avocados, oranges, bananas, veggies (such as sweet potatoes, squash, and dried beans), low-fat milk, and specific sources of protein like salmon and chicken.

It is no knock on supplements to say that food is your very best source of nutrition. (After all, they’re called “supplements” for a reason: They’re intended to supplement what’s missing from your food diet plan.) Besides, it’s approximated that the body absorbs about 85 to 90 percent of dietary potassium.

If you have actually had difficulty including fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet, think about including frozen vegetables and fruits. Food is frozen at peak freshness, boosting its nutritional worth.

Kiwifruit Packs a Larger Punch

Lots of people associate bananas with potassium. However a few other fruits in fact consist of more potassium than bananas. It can be fun to learn which ones.

Foods High in Potassium

According to the USDA nutrition database, the following are foods high in potassium. See listed below for a list of these foods followed by the quantity of potassium each includes:.

  • Acorn squash (1 cup cooked without salt): 896 milligrams
  • Apple (1 medium with skin): 195 milligrams
  • Artichokes (1 cup hearts cooked): 480 milligrams
  • Avocado (1/4 of the whole): 172 milligrams
  • Banana (1 medium): 430 milligrams
  • Beets (1 cup raw): 442 milligrams
  • Broccoli (1 cup sliced and cooked): 457 milligrams
  • Child Brussels sprouts (13 pieces): 315 milligrams
  • Beans (1/2 cup dried– quantities vary based on range): 1,813 milligrams
  • Cantaloupe (1 cup cubes): 427 milligrams
  • Carrots (1 cup chopped): 410 milligrams
  • Cherries (1 cup without pits): 342 milligrams
  • Milk (1 cup low-fat): 350-380 milligrams
  • Mushrooms (1 cup whole): 305 milligrams
  • Orange (1 small): 238 milligrams
  • Peas (1 cup raw): 354 milligrams
  • Peppers (1 cup sliced): 314 milligrams
  • Parsley (1 cup sliced): 332 milligrams
  • Potato (1 medium baked with skin): 930 milligrams
  • Quinoa (1 cup cooked): 318 milligrams
  • Salmon (6 ounces): 730 milligrams
  • Spinach (1 cup cooked): 839 milligrams
  • Sweet potato (1 cup baked ): 664 milligrams
  • Tomatoes (1 cup sliced): 430 milligrams
  • Watermelon (1 cup diced): 170 milligrams

Compared to a control diet plan (offering 3.5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables and 1,700 milligrams each day of potassium), consuming a diet plan which included 8.5 servings daily of fruit and vegetables and 4,100 mg per day of potassium has actually been revealed to lower blood pressure. Research studies have also found that consuming more fruits and vegetables (foods naturally rich in potassium) can reduce high blood pressure.

Dig Into Yogurt

Plain, nonfat yogurt is an excellent source of potassium, packaging 625 milligrams of potassium in a 1-cup serving.

Processed Foods

Some processed and packaged foods likewise include added potassium salts or naturally occurring potassium (such as dried beans and whole grains). If you must monitor your potassium consumption, be mindful of labels. A lot of component labels will note “potassium chloride” as an additive. This is normally discovered in foods such as cereal, snack foods, frozen foods, processed meat, soups, sauces, treats, and meal bars.

You may likewise discover added potassium in items such as Emergen C (a powdered drink). Foods that contain at least 350 milligrams per serving are permitted by the FDA to state, “Diet plans including foods that are great sources of potassium and low in salt may reduce the danger of hypertension and stroke.” [6]

How can I get more potassium in my life?

Easy– simply eat foods high in potassium. While bananas are frequently promoted as a potassium powerhouse– and with 422 milligrams per medium fruit, it does have a good amount– it’s not the just great source. 2 cups of spinach has 334 milligrams of potassium, one cup of Brussels sprouts has 389 milligrams, and one cup of lentils has a whopping 731 milligrams.

If you do want to stick to fruits, one cup of cubed cantaloupe has 427 milligrams, one cup of dried apricots has 1,720 (!) milligrams, and one cup of oranges has 326 milligrams– making them all excellent sources.

Nevertheless, while loading up on potassium-rich foods is usually not a concern for the majority of healthy individuals, getting too much potassium can be a problem for people who have kidney concerns, Aaron says. Your body’s potassium is processed in the kidneys; if your kidneys aren’t working effectively, your body might have a hard time filtering out the excess. “Those with impaired kidney function must consult their doctor about going on a potassium-restricted diet if potassium build-up is an issue,” Aaron states.

It’s clear that potassium is greatly important to the body, and thankfully, it’s not too difficult to get enough of this important nutrient– and doing so can be tasty! If you are stressed over your potassium levels, book an appointment with your medical professional who can do blood work ensuring your levels are where they should be. And hello, perhaps pack a banana to eat on your method house. [7]

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Potassium is most likely safe for most people when taken by mouth in amounts of as much as 100 mEq (3900 mg) of overall potassium daily. In some people, potassium can trigger indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, throwing up, or intestinal tract gas.

What other drugs will impact potassium citrate?

The following drugs can engage with potassium citrate. Inform your physician if you are utilizing any of these:.

  • eplerenone (Inspra);
  • digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin);
  • candesartan (Atacand), losartan (Cozaar, Hyzaar), valsartan (Diovan), or telmisartan (Micardis);
  • glycopyrrolate (Robinul);
  • mepenzolate (Cantil);
  • quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex, Quin-Release);
  • atropine (Donnatal, and others), benztropine (Cogentin), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), methscopolamine (Pamine), or scopolamine (Transderm-Scop);
  • a bronchodilator such as ipratroprium (Atrovent) or tiotropium (Spiriva);
  • bladder or urinary medications such as darifenacin (Enablex), flavoxate (Urispas), oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol), tolterodine (Detrol), or solifenacin (Vesicare);
  • irritable bowel medications such as dicyclomine (Bentyl), hyoscyamine (Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin, and others), or propantheline (Pro-Banthine);
  • an ACE inhibitor such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), fosinopril (Monopril), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), or trandolapril (Mavik); or
  • any kind of diuretic (water pill) such as bumetanide (Bumex), chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Hygroton, Thalitone), ethacrynic acid (Edecrin), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Hyzaar, Lopressor, Vasoretic, Zestoretic), indapamide (Lozol), metolazone (Mykrox, Zarxolyn), or torsemide (Demadex).
  • This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can connect with potassium citrate. Inform your medical professional about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a brand-new medication without informing your medical professional. [9]

What are warnings and safety measures for potassium chloride?


This medication contains potassium chloride. Do not take KDur, Slow K, Kaon Cl 10, KCl, K10, Klor-Con M, Klor Con M10, Klor Con M15, Klor Con M20, KlorCon, Klotrix, KTab, MicroK, or K8 if you dislike potassium chloride or any ingredients contained in this drug.

Stay out of reach of kids. In case of overdose, get medical assistance or get in touch with a Toxin Nerve center instantly.


  • Hypersensitivity
  • Untreated Addison disease
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Renal failure

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • No info available [10]


Attempt to eat more produce. Greater potassium consumption from foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, may lower blood pressure and the danger of heart problem and strokes.

Never take potassium supplements without a medical professional’s prescription, as this can quickly cause high blood potassium levels that threaten.

Focus on the potassium content of salt substitutes, given that it can be high. [11]


  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potassium.
  2. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/potassium/#:~:text=Potassium%20is%20an%20essential%20mineral,foods%20and%20as%20a%20supplement.
  3. https://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/19/potassium.
  4. https://go.drugbank.com/drugs/DB14500.
  5. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/minerals/health-benefits-of-potassium.html
  6. https://www.verywellhealth.com/health-benefits-of-potassium-4588613#toc-contraindications
  7. https://www.wellandgood.com/how-to-feel-happier-tuft-and-needle/
  8. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-851/potassium
  9. https://www.drugs.com/potassium.html#interactions
  10. https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_potassium_chloride_kdur_klorcon/drugs-condition.htm
  11. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-potassium
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