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Potassium is a necessary mineral that is required by all tissues in the body. It is often referred to as an electrolyte because it carries a little electrical charge that triggers various cell and nerve functions. Potassium is discovered naturally in lots of foods and as a supplement. Its main role in the body is to help maintain normal levels of fluid inside our cells. Salt, its equivalent, keeps typical fluid levels beyond cells. Potassium likewise assists muscles to agreement and supports typical 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 used in gunpowder, dyeing, and soap making. They were scraped from the walls of latrines, made from clay and sulfuric acid, and gathered as wood ash respectively. Decreasing them to the aspect defeated 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 development of metal globules of brand-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]

Mechanism of action

Potassium ion is the primary intracellular cation found in essentially all body tissues. The total amount of body potassium in grownups is estimated 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 mainly stays in cells, and a percentage can be discovered in the extracellular fluid. The quantity of potassium that remains in the cell (intracellular) is 30 times that of extracellular concentration, developing a trans membrane gradient, controlled by the sodium-potassium (Na+/ K+) ATPase transporter. This is a crucial gradient for nerve conduction, contraction, and renal function. Vomiting, diarrhea, kidney illness, medications, and other conditions that modify potassium excretion or move it inside or outside of cells. In healthy clients’ individuals with typical renal function, considerably high or low potassium levels are unusual.

Impact on high blood pressure

Potassium reduces minimizes intravascular volume, by lowering sodium reabsorption through an increase in urinary salt excretion. This short-term effect, nevertheless, does not explain the long-lasting impacts of potassium on high blood pressure. Increased plasma potassium levels that happen through intake are related to vasodilation occurring via 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 include modifications in barroreflex sensitivity and hormone level of sensitivity in vascular smooth muscle and cells of the sympathetic nerve system.

Effect on electrolyte balance and body systems

The potassium gradient throughout the membrane of a cell controls cell membrane capacity, preserved predominantly by the sodium-potassium (Na+/- K+ ATPase pump). Transmembrane electro-chemical gradients motivate diffusion of Na+ extracellularly and K+ intracellularly. Potassium supplements prevents hypokalemia to keep this balance and is often used in an oral solution or injection kind in the medical setting, avoiding hazardous impacts such as arrhythmias, abnormal muscle function, and neurological disruptions. When activated, the Na+/- K+ ATPase pump exchanges two extracellular K+ ions for 3 intracellular salt (Na+) ions, affecting membrane capacity through either excitation or inhibition. This is particularly crucial in the homeostasis of the nervous system, kidney, and heart muscle tissue. The body and cell circulations of potassium in regular conditions are known as internal and external balance, respectively. Lowered serum potassium (or imbalance) increases the threat of ventricular arrhythmia, heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). [4]

Health Advantages of Potassium

It is typically considered a vital nutrient that remedies high blood pressure, decreases anxiety and stress, and improves many more health conditions. Let’s take a look at the common advantages in detail.

Promotes Neural Activity

It plays a crucial role in keeping brain function at a normal level. High levels of potassium allow more oxygen to reach the brain, therefore stimulating neural activity and increasing cognitive function. There is a good reason that people call bananas brain food; they consist of impressively high levels of this mineral.

It is of excellent importance in preventing the event of stroke in the human brain. Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor and Kay-Tee Shaw, M. Sc., through their research study, discovered that a high consumption of potassium from food sources may safeguard against stroke-associated death. It is no secret that people at high risk for this tragic condition are frequently discovered to be deficient in this vital nutrient. Given that it functions as a vasodilator, the blood vessels relax throughout the body when an appropriate quantity of this mineral is consumed. This means that blood flows more freely and is less likely to embolisms and break off to cause strokes.

Supports Blood Glucose

Studies suggest that lower levels of potassium are connected with a greater danger of diabetes. A research study published by a group of scientists from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA, found a link between high levels of insulin/glucose and low levels of potassium in people who were otherwise thought about to be healthy. This is likewise why those struggling with diabetes are encouraged to keep their potassium levels typical, to lower the chances of unpredictable spikes and plunges in their glucose and insulin levels by stabilizing the blood sugar level levels throughout the body. Physicians think about low levels of potassium with high levels of insulin as attributes of developing diabetes.

Reduces Muscle Disorders

An adequate concentration of this mineral is required for the regular contraction and relaxation of muscles. Most of the potassium ions in the human body are located in the muscle cells. It maintains optimal muscle and nerve function and assists keep our reflexes fast due to the fact that it promotes the neural connection of muscles and the brain.

Prevents Cramps

Muscle cramps are a typical result 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 prevent muscle cramps since bananas have abundant potassium content.

Improves Bone Health

The advantages of potassium even extend to improving the health of your bones. There are particular qualities of this mineral that reduce the effects of numerous acids in the body, which helps in keeping and preserving calcium, making it available to use for bone strength and toughness. Moreover, a research study at the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center states that eating vegetables and fruits having high levels of this mineral leads to greater mineral density in bones, further enhancing and lengthening their life.

Regulates Neural Function

Potassium channels play a key role in maintaining the electrical conductivity of the brain and drastically affecting the brain function. It is also associated with greater brain function like memory and knowing. In addition to this, ailments like epilepsy are related to the dysfunction of potassium channels that can take place through its shortage. There are potassium currents that play a significant role in mammalian neurons. These channels are interconnected with a vast variety of neural function and can assist moderate and manage electrical currents throughout the body.

Stabilizes High Blood Pressure

Potassium is handy in reversing the function of salt in unbalancing typical high blood pressure, as looked into by Cappuccio Francesco P et al. released in the Journal of Hypertension. Thus, it serves as an important component that keeps the normality of high blood pressure in the body. This more decreases the threat of heart diseases and hypertension. Policy of high blood pressure is one of the most essential functions of this effective mineral. As mentioned previously, it has vasodilation properties that work to relieve the stress of capillary, which is among the primary causes of high blood pressure.

Enhances Muscles

Among the helpful benefits of potassium is its function in making sure the correct growth of muscle tissues and the usage of energy released during metabolic process, which includes significantly to muscular strength. The muscles, consisting of those all-important cardiac muscles, are prone to paralysis due to a deficiency of potassium in an individual’s diet plan.

Promoting cell development and providing the metabolic energy to do so is an important function of potassium and muscular health would be jeopardized without it. Also, without the contraction and relaxation that potassium enables muscles to perform, workout and extra muscle training would be impossible.

Improves Metabolic process

Potassium assists in the metabolic processing of numerous nutrients like fats and carbs. Therefore, it is of a great worth in drawing out energy from the nutrients that are consumed. Detailed studies carried out in Denmark have shown that this mineral is also an important part of the synthesis of protein, which has an influence on tissue regrowth, cell growth, and total balanced metabolism.

Lowers Anxiety & Stress

Potassium is of terrific importance for individuals struggling with undesirable mindsets like anxiety and stress. It is considered an effective stress buster and therefore, guarantees an effective mental performance. Anxiety and tension are extremely harmful to other parts of the health and any perk from things like potassium is considered an excellent concept if you suffer from chronic tension. This mineral can assist control various hormonal agents in your body, consisting of tension hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, excess quantities of which can be harmful to the body.

Enhances Heart Health

The health benefits of potassium make sure good health for the heart as well as the kidneys. It plays an irreplaceable function in regulating the metabolic process and keeping the heart and kidneys running efficiently. In addition, this mineral helps the kidneys in removing waste through the process of excretion. However, it is highly advised to consult your doctor to get recommendations about potassium dose, due to the fact that it can help stimulate the body to absorb more calcium than essential, which can really calcify and trigger kidney problems, rather than resolve them.

Maintains Water Balance

Another substantial role that potassium plays remains in the maintenance of an optimal fluid balance in the human body. Various types of cells require a correct water balance for effective performance and potassium aids these cells in controling the balance. Fluid balance keeps all of our organ systems functioning in one way or the other, which is why lots of people recommend eating bananas after athletic events or after a night of heavy drinking, in order to rehydrate and optimize fluid balance.

Manages the Level of Fluids

Potassium is also a great electrolyte in the human body. It assists in controling the level of fluids in the body and hence help in a number of critical body functions. Moreover, electrolytes help transmit electrical charges throughout the body from the brain and nervous system, so additional electrolytes keep whatever functioning faster.

Enhances Nervous System

Potassium helps increase the effectiveness of nerve reflexes that send the message from one body part to another. This, in turn, assists in contraction to carry out numerous activities every day without getting tired rapidly, which is additional benefited by potassium and is required to induce muscle contraction and function.

Word of Caution: Excess of this mineral in the body can be harmful; for example, clients with kidney concerns who can not effectively process this mineral, might have precariously high levels. This can result in cardiovascular disease, muscle paralysis, troubled breathing, tingling in the hands and feet, heart arrhythmia, and queasiness. Potassium can be an amazing addition to certain diet plans, however constantly be careful that you do not exaggerate, and if you select to consist of potassium supplements in your diet plan, consult your medical professional initially. [5]


Individuals with abnormal kidney function and those on potassium-sparing medications or ACE inhibitors, which are typically used for treating high blood pressure, may require to monitor their intake of potassium and probably must not be on a potassium supplement. If for some reason your doctor has advised this anyway, your blood will be kept track of closely to prevent hyperkalemia (high blood potassium).

If you’re taking specific medications, you must avoid 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 concern about possible interactions, consult your healthcare provider.

Water Pills Undermine Potassium

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

Meet Your Potassium Needs

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

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

If you’ve had problem adding fresh produce to your diet plan, consider including frozen fruits and vegetables. Food is frozen at peak freshness, improving its nutritional value.

Kiwifruit Loads a Bigger Punch

Lots of people associate bananas with potassium. But a few other fruits actually 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 listed below for a list of these foods followed by the amount of potassium each contains:.

  • 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 chopped and cooked): 457 milligrams
  • Baby Brussels sprouts (13 pieces): 315 milligrams
  • Beans (1/2 cup dried– amounts vary based upon variety): 1,813 milligrams
  • Cantaloupe (1 cup cubes): 427 milligrams
  • Carrots (1 cup sliced): 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 portions a day of vegetables and fruits and 1,700 milligrams per day of potassium), consuming a diet which included 8.5 portions daily of vegetables and fruit and 4,100 mg per day of potassium has been shown to lower blood pressure. Research studies have likewise found that eating more vegetables and fruits (foods naturally abundant in potassium) can decrease blood pressure.

Go into Yogurt

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

Processed Foods

Some processed and packaged foods likewise consist of added potassium salts or naturally taking place potassium (such as dried beans and whole grains). If you must monitor your potassium consumption, bear in mind labels. Most ingredient labels will list “potassium chloride” as an additive. This is typically found in foods such as cereal, junk food, frozen foods, processed meat, soups, sauces, treats, and meal bars.

You may also discover included potassium in items such as Emergen C (a powdered beverage). Foods which 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 minimize the risk of hypertension and stroke.” [6]

How can I get more potassium in my life?

Easy– simply eat foods high in potassium. While bananas are often touted as a potassium powerhouse– and with 422 milligrams per medium fruit, it does have a decent quantity– it’s not the only 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 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 fantastic sources.

However, while loading up on potassium-rich foods is generally not a problem for many healthy people, getting too much potassium can be a problem for people who have kidney issues, Aaron states. Your body’s potassium is processed in the kidneys; if your kidneys aren’t working effectively, your body might have a difficult time removing the excess. “Those with impaired kidney function need to consult their medical professional about going on a potassium-restricted diet if potassium accumulation is an issue,” Aaron says.

It’s clear that potassium is vastly crucial to the body, and luckily, it’s not too hard to get enough of this crucial nutrient– and doing so can be delicious! If you are worried about your potassium levels, book a visit with your physician who can do blood work guaranteeing your levels are where they need to be. And hello, possibly load a banana to consume on your way home. [7]

Negative effects

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

What other drugs will impact potassium citrate?

The following drugs can interact with potassium citrate. Tell your doctor 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 tablet) 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 total and there may be other drugs that can interact with potassium citrate. Tell your medical professional about all your prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, minerals, natural items, and drugs prescribed by other physicians. Do not start a new medication without informing your medical professional. [9]

What are cautions and preventative measures for potassium chloride?


This medication consists of 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 included in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical assistance or contact a Toxin Nerve center instantly.


  • Hypersensitivity
  • Unattended Addison disease
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Kidney failure

Results of Drug Abuse

  • No details available [10]


Attempt to eat more fruit and vegetables. Higher potassium usage from foods, especially fruits and vegetables, might lower blood pressure and the threat of heart disease and strokes.

Never ever take potassium supplements without a doctor’s prescription, as this can quickly trigger high blood potassium levels that are dangerous.

Take notice of the potassium material of salt alternatives, given that 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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