Potassium

The human body’s total potassium content is 140 grams, on average. Every living cell needs potassium to function. 98% of the body’s potassium is located inside the cells. The body’s muscles have the highest potassium concentration.
The body’s potassium balance depends on the sodium and magnesium intake. If too much salt is absorbed by the body in a salt-rich diet, the body’s need for potassium increases. High potassium intake and low sodium intake is beneficial for the body’s health. This can be achieved through a vegetable-rich diet.

Functions in the Body

  • Transmits electrical impulses
  • Provides for normal muscle and nerve function
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Activates enzymes
  • Maintains osmolarity (regulates fluid content among cells)

Deficiency Symptoms

  • Impulse transmission disorders in nerves and muscles
  • Weakening of muscles
  • Cardiac arrhythmias

Overdose

A high concentration of potassium in the body is usually due to restricted potassium excretion caused by kidney dysfunction or taking laxatives. Resulting effects include impulse transmission disorders in muscles and cells, accompanied by tingling sensations in hands and feet, as well as muscle weakness. Severe potassium deficiency can even lead to cardiac arrest.

Interactions

+ Potassium in food is almost completely absorbed by the body.
– Sodium (salt) increases the body’s potassium needs. Diarrhoea, vomiting or the misuse of laxatives promotes potassium deficiency.

Sources

Vegetables and fruit, dried fruit, potatoes, legumes, nuts, whole grains.

Recommended Daily Amounts

Young people 4000 mg
Adults 4000 mg
Adults 65 years old and over 4000 mg

«5 a Day» helps you in meeting your body’s daily mineral and trace elements requirements.

750 g of spinach, 780 g of chanterelle mushrooms, or 845 g of fennel, or 870 g lamb’s lettuce or Swiss chard, 970 g red beets or Brussels sprouts, or 1 kg bananas or cassis berries supply the body with its potassium requirement.