Potassium - Everything About Needs, Sources And Deficiencies

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Potassium - Everything About Needs, Sources And Deficiencies
Potassium - Everything About Needs, Sources And Deficiencies

Video: Potassium - Everything About Needs, Sources And Deficiencies

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potassium

In addition to sodium and chloride, potassium is of central importance for the body's water balance. Potassium influences the osmotic pressure, contributes to the balance of electrolytes in the body and is involved in the acid-base balance. In addition, potassium, together with sodium, plays a central role in the conduction of nerve impulses: It is therefore also necessary for muscle work, heart function and regulation of blood pressure. As a cofactor for certain enzymes in protein synthesis (including building up body structures), potassium is also important for growth. A severe deficiency in potassium can be a medical emergency. Severe diarrhea or vomiting can lead to this.

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  • Where is potassium found?
  • How Much Potassium Do We Need?
  • Too much / too little potassium

Where is potassium found?

Potassium is found in almost all foods. Fruits and vegetables are particularly rich in potassium. In concentrated form, such as dried fruit or (tomato) pulp, the content is correspondingly higher. Good sources of potassium include apricots, bananas, plums, tomatoes, hazelnuts, cashews, peanuts, almonds and whole grain flours made from spelled, rye and buckwheat.

Note Potassium is lost through soaking and cooking food for a long time.

How Much Potassium Do We Need?

The exact need is not known. The estimated value for an adequate intake for adults (25 to <51 years) per day according to the DA-CH reference values ​​is 4,000 mg potassium. This value also applies to pregnant women. The estimated value for breastfeeding women is 4,400 mg per day.

You can find out more about all age groups or groups of people as well as gender in the DA-CH reference values. For more information, see Covering Your Daily Mineral Requirement.

Too much / too little potassium

  • An oversupply of potassium through the diet is difficult with intact kidney function. To hyperkalemia (too much potassium in the blood) may occur at an increased efflux of potassium from the cells, eg metabolic acidosis, degrading (catabolic) processes (eg extreme starvation), cell damage, as well as insulin resistance or deficiency. Impaired excretion via the kidneys (e.g. in the event of kidney failure or hormonal changes) can lead to an accumulation of potassium. Symptoms of hyperkalemia include intestinal obstruction, muscle weakness, paralysis, lung failure and even cardiac arrhythmias. Hyperkalemia can become a medical emergency.
  • A diet-related potassium deficiency is rare. However, an undersupply can result from increased potassium excretion (e.g. in the case of chronic diarrhea, severe vomiting or excessive sweating). Certain medications (e.g. diuretics) can lead to an undersupply. Serious potassium deficiency is also a medical emergency. Symptoms of a severe potassium deficiency include neuromuscular impairments, including restricted muscle function, (bowel) paralysis and cardiac arrhythmias.

Further information is available from:

  • Potassium (laboratory value)
  • Healthy recipes
  • Herbs and spices

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