Potassium

Potassium is an essential mineral. Good food sources of potassium include: prunes, bananas, oranges, raisins, lima beans, spinach, and almonds.1 The 100% Daily Value for Potassium (based on a 2000 kcal diet) is 3,500 mg,but it has been revised to 4700 mg as of May 27, 2016.The 100% Daily Value for pregnant or lactating women is 5,100 mg, effective as of July 26, 2018.7

Forms

  • Potassium Chloride: Potassium chloride occurs in nature as the mineral salt, sylvite. Potassium chloride crystals are obtained when sylvite ore is dissolved in hot water, then vacuum chilled. The crystals are purified through a process of filtering and recrystallization.

Major Health Benefits

As a major electrolyte, potassium helps maintain a normal balance and distribution of fluid throughout the body.3 Potassium works with other electrolytes, such as sodium and chloride, to help regulate blood pressure and heart rate. Potassium is necessary for muscle contraction and nerve transmission and contributes to healthy muscular and nerve functions.3 As a cofactor of certain enzymes, potassium contributes to carbohydrate metabolism.4

Symptoms of potassium deficiency include muscle weakness, muscle cramps, fatigue, intestinal paralysis (which can lead to bloating and constipation).5 Severe symptoms of potassium deficiency may include: muscle paralysis and abnormal heart rhythms (Cardiac arrhythmia).6

Note

Individuals with eating disorders (e.g., anorexia nervosa or bulimia), alcohol abuse, or laxative abuse have a higher risk of Potassium deficiency.5

References

  1. Higdon, J. Potassium. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Lin, P in 2010) (Food Sources). http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/potassium Accessed 7/2015.
  2. US Food and Drug Administration. Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide (14. Appendix F: Calculate the Percent Daily Value for the Appropriate Nutrients). US Department of Health and Human Services. 2013 January.
  3. European Food Safety Authority. Scientific Opinion on Selenium Health Benefits. EFSA Journal 2010; 8(2): 1469.
  4. Higdon, J. Potassium. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Lin, P in 2010) (Cofactor for Enzymes)
  5. Higdon, J. Potassium. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Lin, P in 2010) (Deficiency)
  6. Tabasum A, Shute C, Datta D, George L. A man with a worrying potassium deficiency. Endocrinol Diabetes Metab Case Rep. 2014;2014:130067. PMID: 24683481; PMCID: PMC3965273.
  7. US Food and Drug Administration. Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels. US Department of Health and Human Services. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 103, p. 33982 / May 27, 2016. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-05-27/pdf/2016-11867.pdf