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Potassium is a necessary mineral that is needed by all tissues in the body. It is often referred to as an electrolyte due to the fact that it carries a small electrical charge that activates numerous cell and nerve functions. Potassium is discovered naturally in lots of foods and as a supplement. Its primary function in the body is to assist preserve regular levels of fluid inside our cells. Sodium, its counterpart, maintains normal fluid levels beyond cells. Potassium likewise 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 actually been understood for centuries. They were utilized in gunpowder, coloring, and soap making. They were scraped from the walls of latrines, manufactured from clay and sulfuric acid, and collected as wood ash respectively. Reducing them to the component 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 current and observed the formation of metallic globules of new metal, potassium. He kept in mind 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 virtually all body tissues. The total quantity of body potassium in grownups 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 generally remains in cells, and a small amount can be discovered in the extracellular fluid. The quantity of potassium that stays in the cell (intracellular) is 30 times that of extracellular concentration, producing a trans membrane gradient, managed by the sodium-potassium (Na+/ K+) ATPase transporter. This is an important gradient for nerve conduction, contraction, and renal function. Throwing up, diarrhea, renal disease, medications, and other conditions that change potassium excretion or move it inside or outside of cells. In healthy patients’ individuals with typical kidney function, significantly high or low potassium levels are unusual.

Impact on high blood pressure

Potassium decreases lowers intravascular volume, by lowering sodium reabsorption through a boost in urinary salt excretion. This short-term impact, nevertheless, does not explain the long-lasting effects of potassium on blood pressure. Increased plasma potassium levels that occur through consumption are connected with vasodilation taking place by means of 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 mechanisms of action for potassium might include alterations in barroreflex sensitivity and hormonal agent level of sensitivity in vascular smooth muscle and cells of the considerate nerve system.

Impact on electrolyte balance and body systems

The potassium gradient across the membrane of a cell controls cell membrane potential, kept mainly by the sodium-potassium (Na+/- K+ ATPase pump). Transmembrane electro-chemical gradients motivate diffusion of Na+ extracellularly and K+ intracellularly. Potassium supplementation avoids hypokalemia to keep this balance and is typically used in an oral solution or injection type in the medical setting, preventing damaging results such as arrhythmias, abnormal muscle function, and neurological disruptions. When activated, the Na+/- K+ ATPase pump exchanges 2 extracellular K+ ions for 3 intracellular salt (Na+) ions, impacting membrane capacity via either excitation or inhibition. This is specifically crucial in the homeostasis of the nervous system, kidney, and cardiac muscle tissue. The body and cell distributions of potassium in regular conditions are called internal and external balance, respectively. Minimized serum potassium (or imbalance) increases the threat of ventricular arrhythmia, heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). [4]

Health Advantages of Potassium

It is frequently thought about an important nutrient that remedies high blood pressure, lowers stress and anxiety and stress, and improves a lot more health conditions. Let’s have a look at the typical benefits in detail.

Stimulates Neural Activity

It plays a crucial function in keeping brain function at a normal level. High levels of potassium permit more oxygen to reach the brain, therefore stimulating neural activity and increasing cognitive function. There is an excellent reason individuals call bananas brain food; they contain impressively high levels of this mineral.

It is of fantastic significance in preventing the occurrence of stroke in the human brain. Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor and Kay-Tee Shaw, M. Sc., through their research, discovered that a high consumption of potassium from food sources may secure versus stroke-associated death. It is obvious that individuals at high threat for this terrible condition are typically discovered to be lacking in this necessary nutrient. Since it acts as a vasodilator, the capillary unwind throughout the body when a correct quantity of this mineral is consumed. This indicates that blood flows more freely and is less likely to clot and break off to cause strokes.

Stabilizes Blood Sugar Level

Studies recommend that lower levels of potassium are associated with a greater threat of diabetes. A research study published by a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, U.S.A., found a link in between high levels of insulin/glucose and low levels of potassium in individuals who were otherwise thought about to be healthy. This is also why those suffering from diabetes are encouraged to keep their potassium levels regular, to decrease the possibilities of unpredictable spikes and plunges in their glucose and insulin levels by supporting the blood glucose levels throughout the body. Medical professionals think about low levels of potassium with high levels of insulin as attributes of developing diabetes.

Minimizes Muscle Disorders

A sufficient concentration of this mineral is required for the routine contraction and relaxation of muscles. The majority of the potassium ions in the human body lie in the muscle cells. It keeps optimum muscle and nerve function and assists keep our reflexes quick because it stimulates the neural connectivity of muscles and the brain.

Prevents 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 take in a banana every day, you can quickly avoid muscle cramps since bananas have rich potassium content.

Boosts Bone Health

The benefits of potassium even extend to improving the health of your bones. There are particular qualities of this mineral that neutralize different acids in the body, which assists in maintaining and maintaining calcium, making it available to use for bone strength and durability. Additionally, a study at the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center states that eating fruits and vegetables having high levels of this mineral leads to greater mineral density in bones, even more reinforcing and extending their life.

Regulates Neural Function

Potassium channels play a key function in preserving the electrical conductivity of the brain and drastically affecting the brain function. It is also involved in greater brain function like memory and learning. In addition to this, disorders like epilepsy relate to the dysfunction of potassium channels that can occur through its deficiency. There are potassium currents that play a major function in mammalian nerve cells. These channels are interconnected with a vast range of neural function and can assist moderate and manage electrical currents throughout the body.

Supports High Blood Pressure

Potassium is helpful in reversing the role of sodium in unbalancing normal high blood pressure, as investigated by Cappuccio Francesco P et al. released in the Journal of High blood pressure. Therefore, it acts as an essential component that keeps the normality of blood pressure in the body. This additional reduces the danger of heart diseases and high blood pressure. Guideline of high blood pressure is among the most crucial functions of this effective mineral. As pointed out earlier, it has vasodilation residential or commercial properties that work to ease the stress of capillary, which is one of the main causes of hypertension.

Strengthens Muscles

Among the useful benefits of potassium is its function in making sure the correct development of muscle tissues and the usage of energy released during metabolic process, which adds considerably to muscular strength. The muscles, including those necessary cardiac muscles, are prone to paralysis due to a shortage of potassium in an individual’s diet.

Promoting cell growth and supplying the metabolic energy to do so is a vital function of potassium and muscular health would be jeopardized without it. Likewise, without the contraction and relaxation that potassium enables muscles to carry out, exercise and extra muscle training would be impossible.

Boosts Metabolism

Potassium helps in the metabolic processing of various nutrients like fats and carbs. Thus, it is of a terrific worth in drawing out energy from the nutrients that are consumed. Detailed research studies conducted in Denmark have revealed that this mineral is also an integral part of the synthesis of protein, which has an impact on tissue regrowth, cell growth, and overall balanced metabolic process.

Decreases Anxiety & Tension

Potassium is of excellent importance for people experiencing unwanted frame of minds like stress and anxiety and tension. It is thought about an effective stress buster and for that reason, makes sure an efficient psychological performance. Stress and anxiety and tension are really destructive to other parts of the health and any perk from things like potassium is considered an excellent idea if you suffer from chronic tension. This mineral can assist manage numerous hormones in your body, including tension hormonal agents like cortisol and adrenaline, excess quantities of which can be detrimental to the body.

Improves Heart Health

The health benefits of potassium guarantee health for the heart along with the kidneys. It plays an irreplaceable role in controling the metabolism and keeping the heart and kidneys running efficiently. In addition, this mineral helps the kidneys in eliminating waste through the process of excretion. Nevertheless, it is strongly encouraged to consult your doctor to get suggestions about potassium dose, due to the fact that it can assist promote the body to absorb more calcium than needed, which can in fact calcify and trigger kidney issues, instead of solve them.

Maintains Water Balance

Another substantial role that potassium plays remains in the maintenance of an optimum fluid balance in the human body. Different kinds of cells require a correct water balance for efficient performance and potassium help these cells in controling the balance. Fluid balance keeps all of our organ systems working in one method or the other, which is why many individuals suggest eating bananas after athletic events or after a night of heavy drinking, in order to rehydrate and optimize fluid balance.

Controls the Level of Fluids

Potassium is also a terrific electrolyte in the human body. It helps in controling the level of fluids in the body and therefore aids in a variety of important body functions. Moreover, electrolytes assist send electrical charges throughout the body from the brain and nerve system, so extra electrolytes keep everything operating faster.

Enhances Nerve System

Potassium helps improve the performance of nerve reflexes that transfer the message from one body part to another. This, in turn, helps in muscle contraction to carry out different activities every day without getting tired rapidly, which is further benefited by potassium and is needed to cause contraction and function.

Word of Care: Excess of this mineral in the body can be hazardous; for instance, clients with kidney problems who can not appropriately process this mineral, might have precariously high levels. This can cause heart diseases, muscle paralysis, bothered breathing, tingling in the hands and feet, heart arrhythmia, and nausea. Potassium can be an incredible addition to certain diet plans, however constantly beware that you don’t exaggerate, and if you pick to consist of potassium supplements in your diet plan, consult your physician first. [5]


People with unusual kidney function and those on potassium-sparing medications or ACE inhibitors, which are normally utilized for treating high blood pressure, may need to monitor their consumption of potassium and probably need to not be on a potassium supplement. If for some reason your doctor has advised this anyhow, your blood will be kept track of closely to prevent hyperkalemia (high blood potassium).

If you’re taking certain medications, you should avoid taking potassium supplements. These types 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 prospective interactions, consult your doctor.

Water Tablets Undermine Potassium

People who take water pills (also referred to as diuretics) are typically prescribed potassium at the same time. This because as the body gets rid of additional fluid, it likewise flushes out electrolytes like potassium.

Meet Your Potassium Needs

The optimum way to fulfill your potassium requires is to eat a range of whole foods including fruits like avocados, oranges, bananas, vegetables (such as sweet potatoes, squash, and dried beans), low-fat milk, and particular 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 factor: They’re intended to supplement what’s missing from your food diet.) Besides, it’s estimated that the body soaks up about 85 to 90 percent of dietary potassium.

If you have actually had difficulty adding fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet plan, consider including frozen vegetables and fruits. Food is frozen at peak freshness, enhancing its dietary worth.

Kiwifruit Packs a Bigger Punch

Many individuals associate bananas with potassium. But a couple of other fruits really consist of more potassium than bananas. It can be enjoyable to find out which ones.

Foods High in Potassium

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

  • Acorn squash (1 cup prepared without salt): 896 milligrams
  • Apple (1 medium with skin): 195 milligrams
  • Artichokes (1 cup hearts cooked): 480 milligrams
  • Avocado (1/4 of the entire): 172 milligrams
  • Banana (1 medium): 430 milligrams
  • Beets (1 cup raw): 442 milligrams
  • Broccoli (1 cup chopped and cooked): 457 milligrams
  • Infant Brussels sprouts (13 pieces): 315 milligrams
  • Beans (1/2 cup dried– amounts differ based upon variety): 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 chopped): 332 milligrams
  • Potato (1 medium baked with skin): 930 milligrams
  • Quinoa (1 cup prepared): 318 milligrams
  • Salmon (6 ounces): 730 milligrams
  • Spinach (1 cup prepared): 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 vegetables and fruits and 1,700 milligrams per day of potassium), eating a diet which included 8.5 servings each day of vegetables and fruit and 4,100 mg each day of potassium has been shown to lower high blood pressure. Studies have also discovered that consuming more vegetables and fruits (foods naturally abundant in potassium) can minimize blood pressure.

Go into Yogurt

Plain, nonfat yogurt is a great source of potassium, packing 625 milligrams of potassium in a 1-cup serving.

Processed Foods

Some processed and packaged foods also contain included potassium salts or naturally taking place potassium (such as dried beans and whole grains). If you need to monitor your potassium intake, bear in mind labels. Many component labels will list “potassium chloride” as an additive. This is usually found in foods such as cereal, junk food, frozen foods, processed meat, soups, sauces, treats, and meal bars.

You might likewise find included potassium in products such as Emergen C (a powdered drink). Foods which contain a minimum of 350 milligrams per serving are allowed by the FDA to state, “Diet plans containing foods that are excellent sources of potassium and low in salt may lower the danger of hypertension and stroke.” [6]

How can I get more potassium in my life?

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

If you do want to stick with 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 generally not a problem for most healthy individuals, getting excessive potassium can be a problem for people who have kidney issues, Aaron says. Your body’s potassium is processed in the kidneys; if your kidneys aren’t working properly, your body might have a hard time removing the excess. “Those with impaired kidney function must consult their doctor about going on a potassium-restricted diet plan if potassium accumulation is an issue,” Aaron says.

It’s clear that potassium is greatly essential to the body, and fortunately, it’s not too hard to get enough of this important nutrient– and doing so can be scrumptious! If you are fretted about your potassium levels, book a consultation with your doctor who can do blood work ensuring your levels are where they must be. And hi, possibly pack a banana to consume on your method home. [7]

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Potassium is likely safe for many people when taken by mouth in quantities of as much as 100 mEq (3900 mg) of total potassium daily. In some individuals, potassium can cause indigestion, queasiness, diarrhea, throwing up, or digestive gas.

What other drugs will affect potassium citrate?

The following drugs can connect with potassium citrate. Tell your medical professional if you are using 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 type 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 might be other drugs that can connect with potassium citrate. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal items, and drugs recommended by other physicians. Do not begin a brand-new medication without telling your doctor. [9]

What are cautions 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 components consisted of in this drug.

Stay out of reach of kids. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Toxin Nerve center immediately.


  • Hypersensitivity
  • Untreated Addison disease
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Renal failure

Impacts of Drug Abuse

  • No info available [10]


Attempt to eat more produce. Greater potassium usage from foods, specifically fruits and vegetables, may lower blood pressure and the threat of cardiovascular disease and strokes.

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

Take notice of the potassium content of salt replacements, because it can be high. [11]


  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potassium.
  2. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/potassium/
  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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