Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Function of Potassium in the Body

Potassium is a soft silvery white metal substance that is essential for living things. Potassium is a mineral that is important for the kidney to function normally. It is also essential for muscle contraction and for the proper regulation of the heart contractility. Enough supply of Magnesium is needed to maintain the normal level of potassium in the body.
  • Hyperkalemia is a condition wherein there is too much potassium in the blood.
  • Hypokalemia a condition wherein there is too little potassium in the blood.

Proper balance of potassium in the body depends on sodium. Too much use of sodium may deplete the body's store of potassium. Other cases that can cause deficiency of potassium in the body are ; vomiting, excessive sweating, diarrhea and use of diuretics.

High potassium diet prevent high blood pressure.Coffee and alcohol can increase the amount of potassium excreted in the urine.
Symptoms of Deficiency :
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Irregular pulse
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Paralytic ileus
  • Muscle cramps while jogging
  • Lack of appetite
  • Mental apathy
  • Muscle weakness
  • Actual paralysis of the muscles
Daily Requirements - 3-5 gm.
Supplemental Dosage - Usually unnecessary.
Food Sources : Fish, fruits especially bananas, fruit juices, instant coffee, dried fruits especially prunes, vegetables, soybeans, other dried beans, sweet potato, molasses, nuts, cocoa, wheat germ.

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