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diagram of chemical structure
Chemical structure of potassium gluconate.

Potassium is both a chemical element and a mineral essential to the human body. Potassium is important for nerve and muscle function, and especially important for the heart.[1][2]

Potassium ion[edit | edit source]

Potassium ions, K+
, are important in conducting signals between cells. Potassium is an electrolyte.

Deficiency[edit | edit source]

Bananas are well known as a good source of potassium. Image: Pixabay. License: Pixabay open license.

The average person needs about 4,700mg of potassium per day.[1]

Low levels of potassium have been linked to a number of health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, digestive disorders, and others.[3]

A condition called hypokalemic periodic paralysis causes levels of potassium to drop too low, causing a temporary full or partial paralysis.

Theory[edit | edit source]

Evidence[edit | edit source]

Risks and safety[edit | edit source]

Excessive amounts of potassium on the blood can cause hyperkalemia, and even death.[2]

Potassium can also interact with many other drugs.[2]

Costs and availability[edit | edit source]

Potassium is available over the counter in the form of tablets or capsules, liquid, or soluble powder. It is a main ingredient in oral rehydration solutions, which was commonly used to treat dehydration. Potassium is also available for IV administration.

Foods[edit | edit source]

Potassium is also found in many foods, including bananas, avocados, almonds, peanuts, citrus fruits and, green leafy vegetables.[3]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Potassium Supplements: Benefits, Potassium Deficiency, Dosage and More". WebMD. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Hyperkalemia - What You Need to Know". Drugs.com. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Potassium Supplements: Benefits, Potassium Deficiency, Dosage and More". WebMD. Retrieved February 27, 2021.