Have a question? This is a fact sheet intended for health professionals. For a reader-friendly overview of Potassium, see our consumer fact sheet on Potassium. Potassium, the most abundant intracellular cation, is an essential nutrient that is naturally present in many foods and available as a dietary supplement. Potassium is present in all body tissues and is required for normal cell function because of its role in maintaining intracellular fluid volume and transmembrane electrochemical gradients [ 1, 2 ]. Potassium has a strong relationship with sodium, the main regulator of extracellular fluid volume, including plasma volume. Most potassium resides intracellularly, and a small amount is in extracellular fluid [ ]. In addition to maintaining cellular tonicity, this gradient is required for proper nerve transmission, muscle contraction, and kidney function. Potassium is absorbed via passive diffusion, primarily in the small intestine [ 2, 4, 5 ]. Potassium is excreted primarily in the urine, some is excreted in the stool, and a very small amount is lost in sweat. The kidneys control potassium excretion in response to changes in dietary intakes, and potassium excretion increases rapidly in healthy people after potassium consumption, unless body stores are depleted [ 2, 6 ].
There were two comparison diets: a fruit- and vegetable-rich diet that included an average of 8. We’ve crunched the numbers and here are the results. Comparison of dietary calcium with supplemental calcium and other nutrients as factors affecting the risk for kidney stones in women. Salt substitutes Many salt substitutes contain potassium chloride as a replacement for some or all of the sodium chloride in salt.
Dietary surveys consistently show that people in the United States consume less potassium than recommended, which is why the — Dietary Guidelines for Americans identifies potassium as a “nutrient of public health concern” [ 27 ]. Potassium is water-soluble, meaning that any excess is flushed out in the urine. Food and Drug Administration FDA developed DVs to help consumers compare the nutrient contents of foods and dietary supplements within the context of a total diet. These medications reduce urinary potassium excretion, which can lead to hyperkalemia. It can also result from vomiting, which produces metabolic alkalosis, leading to potassium losses in the kidneys. How does having too much or too little affect our health, and how much should we Based on 13 randomized controlled trials that primarily enrolled patients with hypertension, the AHRQ review found that the use of potassium-containing salt substitutes in place of sodium chloride significantly reduced systolic blood pressure in adults by a mean of 5.
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Potassium is one of the 16 minerals your body requires to maintain optimum health. Potassium is widely available in food fruits and vegetables are particularly good sources, yet most people consume less than half the recommended daily amount. For similar reasons, talk to your physician before starting a high-potassium diet. Like most other macrominerals, potassium is an electrolyte, which means it dissolves to create electrically charged ions that your body needs to regulate metabolism. Potassium helps regulate every cell, tissue, and organ of the human body. Potassium seems to play a role in these four areas. An extensive body of literature shows that low potassium intakes increase the risk of hypertension high blood pressure, especially when combined with high intakes of sodium. Overall, the evidence suggests that consuming more potassium might have a favorable effect on blood pressure and stroke, and it might also help prevent other forms of cardiovascular disease CVD. However, one review found inconsistent relationships between potassium intakes and risk of stroke based on 15 observational studies, which is why more research on both dietary and supplemental potassium is needed before firm conclusions can be made. While more research is needed to fully understand the link between potassium and kidney stones, observational studies show that higher potassium intakes are associated with a lower risk of kidney stones—in part because potassium attaches to calcium in the urine, preventing the formation of mineral crystals that can develop into kidney stones.