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Minerals

Potassium

13 years, 11 months ago

4359  0
Posted on Dec 30, 2005, 8 p.m. By Bill Freeman

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Found in bananas, apricots, lettuce, broccoli, potatoes, fresh fruits and fruit juices, sunflower seeds, unsalted peanuts, nuts, squash, wheat germ, brewer

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:

Found in bananas, apricots, lettuce, broccoli, potatoes, fresh fruits and fruit juices, sunflower seeds, unsalted peanuts, nuts, squash, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, desiccated liver, fish, bone meal, watercress, blackstrap molasses, unsulfured figs.

ROLE IN ANTI-AGING:

Potassium is important for intracellular chemical reactions, and regulates the transfer of nutrients to the cells. It also helps to regulate water balance in the body, balance fluid with sodium inside the cells, and distribute fluids on both sides of the cell membrane. As potassium is an electrolyte, it has important roles in maintaining heart and muscle contraction, and nerve transmission. The mineral also assists red blood cells in carrying oxygen and helps to eliminate water waste through the kidneys. Potassium is required for proper carbohydrate metabolism and to store energy in the muscles and liver. Research has shown that potassium can reduce high blood pressure, allergies, and colic in babies and help to prevent heart attacks. One study of people with high blood pressure, revealed that those who ate at least one serving of potassium-rich foods each day were 40% less likely to suffer a fatal stroke. Potassium is important for those using diuretics.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS:

General weakness of muscles, mental confusion, muscle cramping, poor reflexes, nervous system disruption, soft, flabby muscles, constipation, acne in young people, dry skin in adults, severe deficiency leads to heart attack.

THERAPEUTIC DAILY AMOUNT:

2,000-4,000mg. Generally potassium supplementation is unnecessary as adequate amounts of the mineral are obtained in the diet. Athletes generally require more (3,000- 6,000mg) because of heavy perspiration. The maximum potency allowed by the government in supplement form is 99mg. Discuss higher potencies with a physician.

MAXIMUM SAFE LEVEL:

See above.

SIDE EFFECTS/CONTRAINDICATIONS:

Side effects are unusual, unless one takes too much of the mineral. Possible side effects include: black stool, bloody stool, diarrhea, fatigue, and upset stomach. Many drugs can cause potentially dangerous increases in potassium levels therefore; those taking any form of medication should seek medical advice before taking potassium supplements.

SOLUBILITY: Potassium salts are water soluble

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