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Potassium

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Potassium information, FAQ and product listing page. This page contains everything you need to know about potassium.

What is potassium?

Potassium, in addition to sodium and chloride, form the family of members called electrolytes. These minerals work closely together and are called electrolytes because they conduct electricity when dissolved in water. Approximately 9% of the body's potassium is stored within our body's cells, while sodium and chloride are located mostly outside of the cells.

Potassium is particularly important in the action of regulating nerves and muscles in our body. Potassium is an integral part in the degree and frequency in which our muscles contract. It also controls the degree in which our nerves become excitable.

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What foods contain potassium?

Excellent food sources for potassium include spinach, mushrooms, and chard. Other food sources include lima beans, yams, squash, soybeans, avocados, pinto beans, papaya, and lentils.

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What does potassium do?

Potassium plays an integral role in your body's nerve transmission. The body's nerve cells contain specialized channels for transferring potassium in and out of the cell. If the movement of potassium is restricted for some reason, or when your body isn't receiving enough potassium, the activity of your muscles and nerves can be negatively hindered.

Additional roles for potassium includes the storage of carbohydrates to be used by your muscles as fuel and energy. It's also required by your body to maintain your proper balance of electrolytes and acid-base (pH).

Potassium also counteracts the salt-heavy diets that most Americans undertake, which can strip bones of calcium. Potassium helps retain calcium in your body, which results in stronger bones and joints.

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Who can benefit from using potassium supplements?

The advantages that potassium provides are beneficial to everyone. Potassium plays a role in preventing or treating the effects of many health conditions, including atherosclerosis, cataracts, dehydration, diabetes, hepatitis, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and more.

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What are recommended dosages of potassium?

Recommended dosages from the National Academy of Sciences:

  • 0-6 months: 400 mg
  • 6-12 months: 700 mg
  • 1-3 years: 3.5 g
  • 4-8 years: 3.8 g
  • 9-13 years: 4.5 g
  • 14-18 years: 4.5 g
  • 19-30 years: 4.7 g
  • 31-50 years: 4.7 g
  • 51+ years: 4.7 g
  • Pregnant women: 4.7 g
  • Lactating women: 5.1 g

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Does potassium have any side effects?

Taking too much potassium can be toxic. There are some serious side effects, such as elevated heartbeat or even heart attack. If you have kidney disease, you must also limit your intake of potassium. If you're in doubt, consult your doctor before taking potassium supplements.