potassium

An introduction to potassium and why it is essential for our bodies


Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
BOMBSHELL: China and America already at war: Tianjin explosion carried out by Pentagon space weapon in retaliation for Yuan currency devaluation... Military helicopters now patrolling Beijing
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
Holistic cancer treatment pioneer Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez dies suddenly; patients mourn the loss of a compassionate, innovative doctor who helped thousands heal from cancer
Inuit Elders tell NASA Earth Axis Shifted
Wild eyes and bowl cuts: Why do mass shooters always share the same hair styles and crazed zombie stares?
Genetically white woman now claims self-identify as black: If you can choose your gender, can you also choose your race? What about your species? Can a human claim to be a llama?
Delicious
(NaturalNews) Potassium is an essential mineral whose ions are vital for the functioning of all living cells. It accumulates in plant cells, meaning that many fresh vegetables and fruits -- most famously bananas -- are rich in it. Dissolved potassium is also found in sea vegetables such as kelp, bladderwrack and kombu, since seawater is approximately 0.04 percent potassium by weight.

While most people are aware on some level that potassium is important, few people really understand what it does for us. This article takes a closer look at the roles of potassium in our bodies and reveals how much of it our bodies need per day to function properly.

The four main roles of potassium

Regulates water balance -- One of potassium's biggest roles in our bodies is to regulate the amount of sodium entering and exiting our cells, thereby controlling the amount of fluid we retain or excrete. This maintains the body's pH levels, which ensures that our cellular processes proceed at an appropriate rate. People who are deficient in potassium often suffer from fluid retention, which can cause edema, an unpleasant condition that leads to swelling and water-related weight gain.

Aids biochemical processes -- Potassium plays an important role in energy metabolism and cellular biochemical reactions. It helps us synthesize protein from amino acids in cells (thus helping us to grow muscle and build cells), and also helps us convert glucose to glycogen for storage in the liver as a future supply of energy. For these reasons, potassium-rich foods tend to be a popular choice with bodybuilders and athletes.

Maintains electrolyte and acid-base balance -- Potassium is a positively charged electrolyte, and its presence (or absence) directly affects the actions of other electrolytes such as calcium or sodium in our bodies. For example, a deficiency in potassium and an excess in calcium can result in kidney stones, since calcium ions -- without being balanced by potassium ions -- can be excreted by our kidneys into our urine. Moreover, potassium ions bind themselves to negatively charged bicarbonate ions, which creates a buffer that regulates our bodies' acid-base balance. A body with an acidic pH is, of course, a breeding ground for disease.

Boosts nervous system function -- Our bodies use potassium ions to conduct electrical impulses along muscle and nerve cells. These impulses -- which are essentially electrical currents -- are what keep the heart pumping and the muscles contracting. Without potassium (and other minerals such as calcium and sodium), we could not transport signals from our nervous systems to elsewhere in our bodies, resulting in irregular heartbeats and heart arrhythmias. For this reason, potassium is also needed for a healthy cardiovascular system.

How much potassium do we need?

The recommended daily allowance of potassium for adult men and women (including pregnant women) is 4,700 milligrams per day, while children need 4,500 milligrams of it per day. Though potassium deficiencies are not as widespread as magnesium or iodine deficiencies, they are becoming more common (especially in the United States) and can result in muscle cramps, loss of appetite, fatigue, weakness and nausea. People who consume a diet rich in organic whole foods, however, usually do not have to worry about a deficiency in potassium since natural produce contains it in abundance.

Sources for this article include:

http://hkpp.org/patients/potassium-health

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/potassium

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002413.htm

About the author:
Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world's healthiest foods.

Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
Potassium at FETCH.news
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.