What is it?
Potassium is water soluble, and for this reason is sometimes described as a mineral salt. Described as an electrolyte, when dissolved in water it has the capacity to conduct electricity.
What does it do?
- Potassium is one half of the potassium sodium pump mechanism which controls the movement of many substances across our cell walls. So it is involved in many functions on a cellular level, including the secretion of insulin and control of blood sugar levels.
- Maintains the fluid balance in the body.
- The sodium potassium pump also maintains the electrical charge within our cells so it is crucial for functions requiring electrical impulses, that is nerve transmission and muscle function.
- Muscle weakness, pins and needles
- Rapid irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Nausea, diarrhoea & vomiting
The correct balance of potassium and sodium is crucial, research has shown that the intake of potassium to sodium should be at least 5:1. Often our diets are much higher in sodium (through salt in the diet) this can lead to an inbalance of high levels of sodium and a deficiency of potassium.
Potassium interacts extensively with Magnesium.
Recommended Daily Amount (RDA)
Therapeutic amounts are generally considered to be much higher than RDAs. However high doses should always be considered in conjunction with a healthcare practitioner.
Fruits and vegetables are the richest sources of potassium, especially bananas (although they are high glycaemic and therefore should be limited), apples, green leafy vegetables, carrots, cauliflower, mushroom, pumpkin, sea vegetables.
There are no safety considerations with this mineral.