Potassium Mineral - Potassium Sources - Potassium Deficiency
As well as being another of the major mineral family, the Potassium mineral is also related to the electrolyte
family. The other members of this family include sodium and chloride. Unlike sodium and chloride which are found
mainly in the body fluids that surround cells, approximately 95% of the body's potassium is stored in the body
fluids inside the cells. One of the most important roles of potassium is its ability to control how the nerves and
The balance of electrolytes passing in and out of cell membranes is what creates the electrical charges that
help cells communicate with one another. The electrical impulses are also what cause muscles to contract. As one of
the body's largest muscles, the heart relies on a steady supply of potassium and the other electrolytes to keep it
beating rhythmically around the clock. This mineral is also what controls the creation as well as the storage of
the muscles' main source of fuel, glycogen. The Potassium mineral also assists in the process of converting
glucose, or blood sugar, into glycogen.
Tests conducted on individuals with high blood pressure have shown that increasing the amount of potassium has
helped them to lower their blood pressure. Tests have also shown that potassium can help relieve the pain of those
suffering from arthritis by helping to remove the pain-causing acids from affected joints. When acid levels become
too high, potassium can help neutralize the excess acids inside the body. It also brings relief to those suffering
headaches and migraines.
The lungs would not be able to eliminate carbon dioxide and the kidneys could not function properly without
potassium. The Potassium mineral is also responsible for controlling the water balance which is why symptoms of a
potassium deficiency include an unquenchable thirst and inability to urinate.
Providing the body with ample amounts of potassium all through life can help keep the bones from losing mass, a
condition that leads to osteoporosis.
Eating produce is the best way to ensure the body gets an ample supply of this all-important mineral. Bananas,
oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, orange juice, dates, apricots, prunes, potatoes, tomatoes, avocados and other fresh
produce are excellent sources. Potassium is also found in legumes, meat, fish, poultry, whole grains and dairy
Interestingly, there isn't a recommended daily allowance for potassium. Fortunately most people are able to get
enough potassium simply by consuming orange juice, potatoes and bananas.
Potassium is a water-soluble mineral which means that excess amounts are safely eliminated from the body via the
urine, so dangers from excess amounts rarely develop. However, individuals with kidneys that don't function
normally are prone to heart trouble.
Potassium deficiency is possible especially as a result of excessive vomiting, diarrhea, diuretics and laxative
misuse. Water retention, a loss of appetite, fatigue, insomnia, nausea, irregular heart beating, poor circulation,
diabetes, earaches and headaches, hypertension, pain in the abdomen, nerves and muscles that don't function
normally, a thirst that cannot be quenched, and an overall feeling of weakness are the symptoms most often
associated with a potassium deficiency.