Articles

Potassium

Introduction

Potassium is one of the body’s three major electrolytes, the other two being sodium and chloride. Electrolytes are involved in intracellular osmosis, which means that they control the flow of body fluids into and out of tissues and cells.

Potassium is plentiful in the diet. Potassium-rich foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, peanuts, meat, and milk.

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

Typically not more than 250mg to 2,000mg daily, which is approximately equal to 6mEq to 50 mEq of potassium. In cases of low blood levels of potassium, doses greater than 3,900mg (100mEq) per day have been used.

Most Common Dosage

Most healthy individuals get the required amounts of potassium from a healthy diet. Potassium supplementation is very specific, based upon low blood potassium levels and generally completed under medical supervision.

40mEq potassium
=~3.9g potassium acetate
=~4.0g potassium bicarbonate
=~3.0g potassium chloride
=~4.3g potassium citrate
=~9.4g potassium gluconate
=~5.4g potassium phosphate, monobasic
=~3.5g potassium phosphate, dibasic

Dosage Forms

Tablets, capsules, and injectables (Rx only).

Interactions and Depletions

Depletions

Reported Uses

As part of its role as an electrolyte, potassium controls the distribution and balance of water throughout the body. Potassium also helps maintain pH balance throughout the body. What’s more, blood pressure is partially regulated by potassium and studies suggest that potassium can reduce blood pressure.

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

Excessive doses of this dietary supplement can cause mental confusion, numbness of the extremities, labored breathing and poor heart function.

 

Health Conditions

Kidney failure can lead to potassium toxicity. If you have poorly functioning kidneys talk to your doctor before taking this dietary supplement.

Pregnancy / Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Proper nutrition is essential during pregnancy for the healthy development of the fetus. Numerous vitamins and minerals are a vital part of proper nutrition. If you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breast-feeding an infant, talk to your healthcare professional about supplementing your diet with appropriate vitamins and minerals.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Vitamins and minerals are an essential part of proper growth and development. Talk to your healthcare professional about the appropriate use of vitamins and minerals in children. Do not use any vitamin or mineral in children under 2 years of age unless first discussed with your healthcare professional.

References

  1. View Abstract: Motte G. Arrhythmia Caused by Potassium Deficiency. Arch Mal Coeur Vaiss. Apr1984;77(Spec No): 17-22.
  2. View Abstract: Maurat JP, et al. Cardiovascular pathology and magnesium. Therapie. Nov1993;48(6):599-607.
  3. View Abstract: Wester PO, et al. Intracellular Electrolytes in Cardiac Failure. Acta Med Scand Suppl. 1986;707:33-36.
  4. View Abstract: Curhan GC, et al. A Prospective Study of Dietary Calcium and Other Nutrients and the Risk of Symptomatic Kidney Stones. N Engl J Med. Mar1993;328(12):833-38.