Referring now to natural potassium, which ingest daily through food. Potassium is present in nature only as cation (positive ion). Cation is the most important of all cells of human and animal bodies, and essential for cell function. Foods rich in potassium are bananas, meat, apricots, kiwis, currants, potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, fennel, spinach and celery, also mushrooms and walnuts.
The healthy human body is able to regulate and tolerate well high potassium intake with food. This means that a high potassium intake by eating lots of bananas, for example - does not cause an increase in potassium in cells. Another thing would be if ingiriéramos potassium whose natural composition had changed due to a high concentration of potassium That potassium-40.1-40 located on the ground in large quantities as a result of war it absorb through food. But it can also reach the human body through dust clouds.
It is a fact of chemistry that isotopes of a chemical element can not be distinguished from each other chemically. The biochemistry of metabolism of humans, animals and plants can not therefore distinguish between potassium-39, potassium-40 and potassium-41. The body handles the mixture of isotopes that are offered. It is impossible to separate the radioactive potassium nonradioactive in metabolic processes.
Potassium is the most important factor of bodily radioactive contamination
98% of potassium present in the body is inside cells, and only 2% outside. "The radioactive load in humans comes primarily potassium-40, and is about 0.2 millisievert per year. If the concentration of potassium-40 is multiplied by one hundred, the load reaches a very worrying level (20 mSv / a!) "1 is clear then that the radioactive isotope potassium-40, which investigated areas is multiplied by hundred, to be transported to the cells with food intake, damage the vital functions of the kernel - the cell more sensitive to radioactivity - and cell organelles, particularly the mitochondria.
Mitochondria: the powerhouse of the cell
To understand the importance of the function of mitochondria, a brief digression to explain. Mitochondria are oval formations length about 300-800 nm and about 100 nm thick, and are, together with the core, the larger organelles of the cell. Are coated with a double membrane and are in the vicinity of the cell nucleus. Mitochondria have own DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, carrier of genetic information), and therefore have the capacity to synthesize their own proteins. They are the "respiratory system" of the cells and their main function is the synthesis of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the most important energy carrier for all metabolic processes. So they are also called the "power plants" of cells.
Damage to the cell Self Repair
Energy in the form of ATP is required, inter alia, for the production of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) content in the cell fluid soluble. GSH is the primary system repair most cell structures that have been damaged by free radicals. These free radicals are chemical particles with large reactive power, and the radioactivity (ionizing radiation) causes formation.
GSH also has a protective function against chemical mutations (changes in the genetic information produced by certain substances), which represent a danger to the cells. It is considered that this antioxidant function of GSH protects against cancer because it neutralizes the effects of free radicals. But without ATP energy carrier can not produce sufficient GSH, and the repair mechanism of the cells stops funcionar.2 Potassium-40 cells which reaches through the nucleus damaged food and synthesis ATP in the mitochondria and, thereby, the repair process.
Faults in removing heavy metals
The GSH serves another important function: helps cells to get rid of toxic heavy metals. The heavy metals are bound to GSH and are transported from the cell to the gallbladder, which are eliminated. This process has a dual role: first, can liberate excess cells GSH and secondly, metal detoxify heavy.2 so why is understood deteriorating the irreplaceable function of mitochondria due to the presence of radioactive substances, such as potassium-40, has such devastating consequences.
Variation dangerous electrolyte concentration
The ATP from the "power plants" of cells needed in another function essential to human life. The cellular and bodily fluids are, due to ions that possess electrolytes. The presence of certain ions in biological membranes of cells and cell organelles in these membranes produce electric potentials necessary for the vital functions. In this regard, it is of fundamental importance above all the relationship between sodium ion and potassium. Inside the cell is more potassium, sodium abroad more. The balance between sodium and potassium is maintained through the combined effect of the sodium-potassium pump and the permeability of the cell membrane. The sodium-potassium pump is an enzyme system which requires a high energy input, consumes 30% to 70% of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is formed in the body. The fundamental importance of ATP as we have referred previously to explain the function of mitochondria. Without an adequate supply of ATP, faults occur in the sodium-potassium pump and altered permeability of the cell membrane. These disturbances cause dangerous finally variations in the electrolyte concentration intra and extracellular space and produce, among other effects, a change in cell volume.
These explanations highlight the fundamental importance of potassium to maintain vital body functions.