What is potassium  

What is potassium


Fruit rich in potassium


Potassium works with sodium to: monitor the balance of fluids in the body, transmit nerve commands, contract muscles, and maintain the integrity of the heartbeat.


Cases that require adding a vitamin/mineral


Most foods contain sufficient amounts of potassium, so the need to supplement with potassium is usually rare. However, a mild deficiency may occur in people who drink coffee or alcoholic beverages in excessive quantities, or in those who eat a lot of salty foods, as well as diabetics.


Deficiency symptoms


Early symptoms of potassium deficiency include: muscle weakness, fatigue, dizziness and confusion. It may harm the nerves and muscles, which may lead to irregular heartbeats, paralysis of the skeletal muscles and intestines, which may lead to constipation.


Symptoms and risks in the event of an overdose


The level of potassium in the body is controlled by the kidneys, so that any excess amount is excreted through urine. Taking doses exceeding 18 grams may lead to heart rhythm disturbances and paralysis of some muscles. In people who suffer from kidney dysfunction, excess potassium may accumulate in the body, which increases the risk of potassium poisoning. Patients receiving hemodialysis should avoid foods rich in potassium.


Pharmaceutical preparations


Potassium chloride, potassium gluconate and potassium homocysteine ​​can be obtained without a prescription. Potassium chloride and potassium gluconate are widely used in sodium-free salt (salt substitute). Supplements of potassium citrate and potassium acetate are given only by prescription.




The best sources of potassium are green leafy vegetables, oranges, grapefruit, potatoes and bananas, in addition to red meat, legumes and milk. Many food processing methods may reduce the amount of potassium in food.


Dosage required in cases of deficiency


The dosage is determined individually, depending on the type of preparation, the cause of the potassium deficiency and its severity. In general, a dose of between 2 – 6 grams of potassium chloride is given to avoid deficiency, for example – for people who are treated with several types of medications, which cause potassium deficiency. To treat the deficiency, a dose equivalent to between 3 and 7.2 of potassium chloride is given.


Recommended daily dose




The recommended daily dose (RDA) has not been determined, but specialists advise taking a daily amount equal to 2-6 grams of potassium chloride.


Types of foods that contain vitamin/mineral


Bread, cereals, legumes, green vegetables, fruits

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