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Potassium - Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources

What is Potassium?

Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body. It is known as an electrolyte in human body. The human body has about a 4.5 ounce supply and most of it is located inside muscle cells. Most of the body's potassium is stored in the body fluids inside the cells. One of the most important roles of potassium is its ability to control how the nerves and muscles act. Tests conducted on individuals with high blood pressure have shown that increasing the amount of potassium has helped them to lower their blood pressure. Magnesium helps maintain the potassium in the cells, but the sodium and potassium balance is as finely tuned as those of calcium and phosphorus or calcium and magnesium.

Uses and Benefits of Potassium

  1. Potassium helps in sending the oxygen to brain.
  2. The heart relies on a steady supply of potassium to keep it beating rhythmically around the clock.
  3. Potassium also controls the creation as well as the storage of the muscles' main source of fuel, glycogen.
  4. Potassium is very essential, along with increased protein intake, in the treatment of kwashiorkor.
  5. Potassium is also useful in the treatment of acute diarrhea, diabetic coma, congenital renal alkalosis, aldosteronism, and in the case of surgical patients.
  6. Potassium also decreases risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
  7. Potassium also helps bolsters immune system in people undergoing chemotherapy.

Deficiency Symptoms of Potassium

  1. Potassium deficiency rarely occurs as a result of inadequate dietary intake, but rather as a result of excessive diarrhea or vomiting, malnutrition, surgery, or use of diuretics.
  2. Other symptoms of potassium deficiency are constipation, poor appetite, abnormally dry skin, acne, depression, diarrhea, diminished reflex function, edema, nervousness.
  3. Hypertension, pain in the abdomen, nerves and muscles that don't function normally, a thirst that cannot be quenched, and an overall feeling of weakness are the symptoms most often associated with a potassium deficiency.

Recommended Dosage of Potassium

The range of actual intake for children is 780 to 1,600 milligrams per day; the adults range is estimated at 1,950 to 5,900 milligrams per day. Children/adolescents should have to taken 90 mg per day and for infants it should be 90 mg.

Rich Food Sources of Potassium

The food sources which contains potassium are almonds, apples, apricots, avocados, bacon, bananas, beans, beef, beef liver, beet greens, beets, blackberries, cabbage, caviar, celery, cheese, chicken, chicken liver, chocolate, clams, hot cocoa, corn, dates, fish, garlic, goose, green peas, lamb liver, macadamia, milk molasses, mushrooms, Swiss chard, Turkey liver, and veal liver etc. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, parsley, and lettuce, as well as broccoli are also good source of potassium.

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