Potassium is essential for life, growth, development & life span.
Not enough attention is paid to the potassium in our diets or in our supplements. Your daily dietary need for potassium is 2000-4000 mg. A typical modern diet only supplies 1500-5000 mg of potassium. Low potassium diets produce great fatigue & muscle weakness.
Our primary dietary sources of potassium are: kelp, fresh & dried fruits & vegetables, rice + wheat bran, especially potatoes, bananas, orange juice, & apricots, unsalted nuts, seeds, grains, mushrooms, molasses, seafood, & the table salt KCL.
Potassium is important in controlling the activity of your heart, muscles, nervous system, & just about every living cell in your body. Potassium activates enzymes for the use of amino acids, is involved in bone calcification, the conversion of blood sugar into the stored glycogen for energy reserves, muscle contraction & coordination. It plays a role in maintaining the water balance & integrity of your cells. It is important to nerve transmission. It is involved in the transport of choline for acetylcholine synthesis in your brain. Protein & carbohydrate metabolism, glucose breakdown, & glycogen (stored glucose) are all potassium dependent. There is a correlation between a reduction of dietary potassium & a reduction in Growth Hormone.
Besides poor diet, conditions contributing to potassium depletion are: diuretic therapy, aspirin, prolonged laxative use, diarrhea, corticosteroid therapy, gastrointestinal disorders, & cancer. Caffeine also increases urinary excretion of potassium. Those with more than the equivalent of 1 cup of coffee daily need to be careful about inducing low potassium.
Ninety eight percent of our body’s potassium is inside of our cells, so may not be accurately measured in a blood test. Magnesium helps to hold potassium in our cells, but many are magnesium deficient also. It may not be possible to adequately correct a potassium deficiency without simultaneously correcting a magnesium deficiency. Red blood cell potassium levels is a better method for determining potassium levels than are serum potassium levels.
SYMPTOMS OF POTASSIUM DEFICIENCY:
- Cognitive impairment
- Bone fragility
- Bone & joint pain
- Muscle weakness
- Decreased reflexes
- Glucose intolerance
- Increased cholesterol
- Decreased blood pressure
- Increased blood pressure
- Dry eyes
- Salt retention
- Irregular or rapid heart rate
- Respiratory distress
- Loss of protein in urine
- Growth impairment
- Decreased fertility
Too much potassium (over 12,000 mg daily) can be toxic & dangerous, which is why supplements are in very low doses. Too much or too little potassium can cause an organic brain syndrome with confusion, disorientation, mispronunciation of words or difficulty speaking & weakness. Supplementation is contraindicated in those with kidney disease, those on potassium-sparing diuretics, & on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain killers.Print This Post