A silver-white soft light low-melting monovalent metallic element of the alkali metal group that occurs perfectly in nature particularly integrated in minerals. [1]

The fundamentals of potassium

Potassium is an important mineral that is required by all tissues in the body. It is sometimes referred to as an electrolyte because it carries a small electrical charge that activates 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 assist keep normal levels of fluid inside our cells. Sodium, its counterpart, maintains normal fluid levels outside of cells. Potassium likewise assists muscles to agreement and supports normal 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 been known for centuries. They were used in gunpowder, coloring, and soap making. They were scraped from the walls of latrines, produced from clay and sulfuric acid, and gathered as wood ash respectively. Minimizing them to the aspect beat the early chemists and potassium was classed as an ‘earth’ by Antoine Lavoisier. Then in 1807, Humphry Davy exposed damp potash to an electric current and observed the development of metal beads 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]

Mechanism of action

Potassium ion is the main intracellular cation found in practically all body tissues. The total quantity 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 primarily remains in cells, and a small amount 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, regulated by the sodium-potassium (Na+/ K+) ATPase transporter. This is an important gradient for nerve conduction, contraction, and kidney function. Vomiting, diarrhea, kidney illness, medications, and other conditions that alter potassium excretion or move it inside or beyond cells. In healthy clients’ individuals with typical kidney function, significantly high or low potassium levels are uncommon.

Effect on blood pressure

Potassium reduces decreases intravascular volume, by lowering sodium reabsorption through an increase in urinary sodium excretion. This short-term impact, nevertheless, does not discuss the long-term results 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 systems of action for potassium might consist of alterations in barroreflex sensitivity and hormonal agent level of sensitivity in vascular smooth muscle and cells of the considerate nervous system.

Result on electrolyte balance and body systems

The potassium gradient across 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 supplementation prevents hypokalemia to preserve this balance and is frequently used in an oral solution or injection type in the clinical setting, preventing hazardous impacts such as arrhythmias, irregular muscle function, and neurological disturbances. When triggered, the Na+/- K+ ATPase pump exchanges two extracellular K+ ions for three intracellular salt (Na+) ions, impacting membrane capacity via either excitation or inhibition. This is particularly essential in the homeostasis of the nerve system, kidney, and cardiac muscle tissue. The body and cell distributions 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 Benefits of Potassium

It is frequently thought about a vital nutrient that cures blood pressure, minimizes anxiety and tension, and enhances much more health conditions. Let’s take a look at the common advantages in detail.

Promotes Neural Activity

It plays an important role in keeping brain function at a normal level. High levels of potassium permit more oxygen to reach the brain, therefore promoting neural activity and increasing cognitive function. There is a great reason that people call bananas brain food; they contain remarkably high levels of this mineral.

It is of terrific importance in avoiding the event of stroke in the human brain. Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor and Kay-Tee Shaw, M. Sc., through their research, found that a high consumption of potassium from food sources may secure against stroke-associated death. It is no secret that individuals at high threat for this awful condition are typically found to be deficient in this essential nutrient. Given that it acts as a vasodilator, the capillary unwind throughout the body when a correct amount of this mineral is taken in. This indicates that blood flows more freely and is less likely to embolisms and break off to cause strokes.

Supports Blood Sugar

Research studies suggest that lower levels of potassium are related to a greater danger of diabetes. A study published by a team of scientists from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, U.S.A., found a link between high levels of insulin/glucose and low levels of potassium in individuals who were otherwise thought about to be healthy. This is likewise why those experiencing diabetes are encouraged to keep their potassium levels normal, to minimize the chances of unforeseeable spikes and plunges in their glucose and insulin levels by stabilizing the blood glucose levels throughout the body. Medical professionals consider low levels of potassium with high levels of insulin as qualities of developing diabetes.

Minimizes Muscle Disorders

An enough concentration of this mineral is required for the regular contraction and relaxation of muscles. Most of the potassium ions in the body lie in the muscle cells. It preserves ideal muscle and nerve function and helps keep our reflexes quickly since it promotes the neural connectivity of muscles and the brain.

Prevents Cramps

Muscle cramps are a common outcome 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 easily avoid muscle cramps because bananas have abundant potassium content.

Enhances Bone Health

The benefits of potassium even encompass enhancing the health of your bones. There are certain qualities of this mineral that neutralize different acids in the body, which helps in retaining and preserving calcium, making it available to utilize for bone strength and sturdiness. Moreover, a 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, even more reinforcing and extending their life.

Manages Neural Function

Potassium channels play a crucial function in preserving the electrical conductivity of the brain and considerably affecting the brain function. It is also involved in greater brain function like memory and knowing. In addition to this, disorders like epilepsy belong to the dysfunction of potassium channels that can occur through its deficiency. There are potassium currents that play a significant function in mammalian neurons. These channels are interconnected with a huge range of neural function and can assist moderate and manage electrical currents throughout the body.

Supports Blood Pressure

Potassium is handy in reversing the role of sodium in unbalancing normal high blood pressure, as looked into by Cappuccio Francesco P et al. published in the Journal of High blood pressure. Therefore, it serves as a vital component that maintains the normality of high blood pressure in the body. This more reduces the threat of heart diseases and hypertension. Guideline of high blood pressure is among the most important functions of this powerful mineral. As discussed earlier, it has vasodilation properties that work to eliminate the tension of blood vessels, which is one of the primary reasons for high blood pressure.

Strengthens Muscles

One of the useful benefits of potassium is its function in guaranteeing the correct growth of muscle tissues and the utilization of energy launched during metabolism, which includes significantly to muscular strength. The muscles, consisting of those necessary heart muscles, are prone to paralysis due to a deficiency of potassium in an individual’s diet plan.

Stimulating cell development and providing the metabolic energy to do so is an essential function of potassium and muscular health would be compromised without it. Also, without the contraction and relaxation that potassium enables muscles to carry out, exercise and extra muscle training would be impossible.

Enhances Metabolism

Potassium helps in the metabolic processing of various nutrients like fats and carbohydrates. Hence, it is of a great worth in drawing out energy from the nutrients that are consumed. Detailed research studies carried out in Denmark have shown that this mineral is also an integral part of the synthesis of protein, which has an impact on tissue regeneration, cell development, and total well balanced metabolism.

Decreases Anxiety & Tension

Potassium is of fantastic value for people suffering from unfavorable mental states like anxiety and tension. It is thought about a powerful stress buster and therefore, guarantees an effective psychological performance. Anxiety and stress are very detrimental to other parts of the health and any bonus offer from things like potassium is thought about an excellent idea if you experience chronic stress. This mineral can assist regulate various hormones in your body, consisting of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, excess quantities of which can be detrimental to the body.

Boosts Heart Health

The health benefits of potassium ensure health for the heart along with the kidneys. It plays an irreplaceable role in controling the metabolism and keeping the heart and kidneys running smoothly. Furthermore, this mineral helps the kidneys in eliminating waste through the procedure of excretion. However, it is highly advised to consult your doctor to get recommendations about potassium dosage, due to the fact that it can help stimulate the body to soak up more calcium than necessary, which can in fact calcify and cause kidney issues, rather than fix them.

Maintains Water Balance

Another considerable role that potassium plays is in the maintenance of an optimal fluid balance in the human body. Various types of cells require a correct water balance for effective functioning and potassium help these cells in regulating the balance. Fluid balance keeps all of our organ systems working in one method or the other, which is why many people suggest eating bananas after athletic events or after a night of heavy drinking, in order to rehydrate and optimize fluid balance.

Regulates the Level of Fluids

Potassium is also a great electrolyte in the human body. It assists in regulating the level of fluids in the body and hence aids in a number of critical body functions. In addition, electrolytes assist transfer electrical charges throughout the body from the brain and nervous system, so extra electrolytes keep whatever functioning quicker.

Enhances Nerve System

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

Word of Caution: Excess of this mineral in the body can be damaging; for example, clients with kidney concerns who can not effectively process this mineral, might have dangerously high levels. This can lead to heart diseases, muscle paralysis, troubled breathing, tingling in the hands and feet, heart arrhythmia, and queasiness. Potassium can be a miraculous addition to certain diets, however always take care that you do not exaggerate, and if you choose to include potassium supplements in your diet plan, consult your doctor initially. [5]


Individuals with abnormal kidney function and those on potassium-sparing medications or ACE inhibitors, which are normally used for treating hypertension, may need to monitor their consumption of potassium and probably must not be on a potassium supplement. If for some reason your healthcare provider has suggested this anyway, your blood will be kept an eye on carefully to prevent hyperkalemia (high blood potassium).

If you’re taking particular medications, you ought to prevent 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 possible interactions, consult your doctor.

Water Pills Weaken Potassium

People who take water tablets (likewise called diuretics) are typically prescribed potassium at the same time. This because as the body gets rid of extra fluid, it also eliminates electrolytes like potassium.

Meet Your Potassium Requirements

The optimum method to meet your potassium needs is to consume a variety of entire foods consisting of fruits like avocados, oranges, bananas, veggies (such as sweet potatoes, squash, and dried beans), low-fat milk, and specific 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 reason: They’re intended 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 trouble including fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet, think about adding frozen fruits and vegetables. Food is frozen at peak freshness, boosting its dietary value.

Kiwifruit Packs a Larger Punch

Many individuals associate bananas with potassium. However a few other fruits really consist of more potassium than bananas. It can be enjoyable to discover 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 quantity 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 entire): 172 milligrams
  • Banana (1 medium): 430 milligrams
  • Beets (1 cup raw): 442 milligrams
  • Broccoli (1 cup sliced and prepared): 457 milligrams
  • Infant Brussels sprouts (13 pieces): 315 milligrams
  • Beans (1/2 cup dried– quantities 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 little): 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 cooked): 318 milligrams
  • Salmon (6 ounces): 730 milligrams
  • Spinach (1 cup prepared): 839 milligrams
  • Sweet potato (1 cup baked ): 664 milligrams
  • Tomatoes (1 cup chopped): 430 milligrams
  • Watermelon (1 cup diced): 170 milligrams

Compared to a control diet plan (offering 3.5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables and 1,700 milligrams daily of potassium), eating a diet plan which included 8.5 servings daily of fruit and vegetables and 4,100 mg each day of potassium has been revealed to lower blood pressure. Research studies have actually likewise found that consuming more fruits and vegetables (foods naturally abundant in potassium) can lower 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 likewise consist of added potassium salts or naturally occurring potassium (such as dried beans and whole grains). If you must monitor your potassium intake, bear in mind labels. Many active ingredient labels will list “potassium chloride” as an additive. This is usually discovered in foods such as cereal, snack foods, frozen foods, processed meat, soups, sauces, snacks, and meal bars.

You may likewise find included potassium in items such as Emergen C (a powdered drink). Foods which contain a minimum of 350 milligrams per serving are permitted by the FDA to state, “Diet plans including foods that are great sources of potassium and low in sodium may lower the danger of high blood pressure and stroke.” [6]

How can I get more potassium in my life?

Easy– just consume foods high in potassium. While bananas are often promoted as a potassium powerhouse– and with 422 milligrams per medium fruit, it does have a decent quantity– it’s not the just great 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 massive 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 normally not a problem for a lot of healthy individuals, getting too much potassium can be an issue for individuals who have kidney issues, Aaron states. Your body’s potassium is processed in the kidneys; if your kidneys aren’t working appropriately, your body may have a tough time removing the excess. “Those with impaired kidney function need to consult their doctor about going on a potassium-restricted diet if potassium accumulation is a concern,” Aaron says.

It’s clear that potassium is significantly essential to the body, and fortunately, it’s not too hard to get enough of this crucial nutrient– and doing so can be tasty! If you are stressed over your potassium levels, book a consultation with your physician who can do blood work guaranteeing your levels are where they ought to be. And hello, possibly load a banana to consume on your method house. [7]

Side Effects

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

What other drugs will affect potassium citrate?

The following drugs can communicate with potassium citrate. Inform your physician 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 complete and there may be other drugs that can connect with potassium citrate. Inform your physician about all your prescription and over the counter medications, vitamins, minerals, organic items, and drugs prescribed by other physicians. Do not begin a new medication without telling your doctor. [9]

What are cautions and precautions 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 are allergic to potassium chloride or any active ingredients contained in this drug.

Stay out of reach of kids. In case of overdose, get medical help or call a Toxin Control Center instantly.


  • Hypersensitivity
  • Neglected Addison disease
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Kidney failure

Impacts of Substance Abuse

  • No information offered [10]


Attempt to eat more produce. Higher potassium consumption from foods, especially fruits and vegetables, might reduce high blood pressure and the danger of heart problem and strokes.

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

Focus on the potassium content of salt alternatives, because it can be high. [11]


  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potassium.
  2. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/potassium/#:~:text=Potassium%20is%20an%20essential%20mineral,foods%20and%20as%20a%20supplement.
  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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