What is it?
Potassium is an electrolyte that works closely with sodium. It is needed to regulate the acid/alkaline balance of the body; fluid balance; blood pressure and heart function; nerve impulses and muscle function.
|Function||How it helps|
|Fluid and sodium regulation||
Around 98% of the potassium in the body is found within the cells where it helps maintain the proper balance of fluid within the cells by controlling the amount of sodium that can enter a cell.
|Nerve & muscle health Cardiovascular health||Potassium works with sodium to trigger nerve impulses which in turn trigger muscle contractions. It also plays a role in the storage of glycogen that fuels muscle function.|
|Stress||Sustained stress depletes potassium in the cells and retains sodium. Long term depeletion of potassium can lead to fatigue and exhaustion, hypertension and other cardiovascular problems, neurological and muscular problems.|
What is it used for?
High blood pressure
Best food sources
|Irregular heart beat||Muscle cramps|
|Muscle fatigue||Poor stress tolerance||Constipation|
Supplementation dosage range
3.5g per day
You may need more potassium if you have high blood pressure, heart problems, a high risk of having a stroke, a familial history of kidney stones, excessive perspiration.
- If you have kidney disease you should not take potassium unless on the advice of your doctor.
- If you have kidney disease potassium toxicity can lead to muscle weakness, appetite loss, hypotension, paralysis of legs and/or arms, irregular heart beat, coma or even fatal renal or cardiac failure. Potassium toxicity may occur if dietary intake and/or supplemental daily intake exceeds 18 grams (18,000mg.), although it is very rare in individuals with normal renal function.
- High doses are also not recommended if you have digestive system ulcers, intestinal obstruction, severe dehydration, serious burns, heart blockage or Addison’s Disease.
- High doses of potassium should not be usedif you take ACE inhibitor medication, potassium-sparing diuretics, NSAIDs (especially in the elderly), heparin or trimethoprim/ sulfamethoxazole.
- Supplements or medications containing high doses of potassium salts (potassium chloride, etc) may in some people cause abdominal cramping, diarrhoea, nausea and/or vomiting. Digestive ulcers may also occur, especially in those taking high doses of modified-release potassium. Such symptoms will generally not occur with equivalent amounts of potassium from food sources.
|Factors which deplete levels, impair absorption and/or inhibit activity:|