The role of Potassium in human health

The article was consulted professionally by Master, Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc – General Internal Medicine – Endo noisist – Department of Medical Examination and Internal Medicine – Share99 Central Park International Hospital. The doctor has more than 10 years of study, research and work in the field of end of end of life.

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Potassium is good for human health. The role of Potassium is important in the processes of transformation, participating in the cell's pH conditioning buffer system that protects the cardiovascular, developing the muscle and nervous system in the child. Everyone, especially pregnant women and children, should add enough Potassium every day.

1. The role of Potassium in the body

  • Potassium in the blood has a normal concentration of 3.5 – 5 mmol/l. In the body, potassium helps regulate water and electrolytic balance, helping to maintain normal functioning, especially of the cardiovascular, muscular, digestive, urinary systems. Potassiumemia ensures membrane effect, stimulation of nerves – muscles help the functioning of muscles. On the heart muscle, K+ reduces contraction force, reduces irritation and reduces conduction. Antagonistic effects on Ca++ and glycosid, heart. Participate in acid-base conditioning.
  • A diet rich in potassium lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart attacks, improves the body's insulin use, reduces the frequency of arrhythmias, improves signs of depression and anorexia.
  • In addition, potassium also helps the body to produce proteins from amino acids and convert glucose into glycogen a source of energy mainly for all activities of the body.
  • Potassium also helps prevent bone loss caused by osteoporosis that makes bones fragile in the elderly.
  • In adolescence, when muscles and bones are growing as well as women during pregnancy it is necessary to take a diet high in potassium to meet the body needs at that time, since potassium is essential in the construction of two muscle and bone systems.

2. Effects of Potassium on Human Health By Age


Potassium helps to control heart rate in adults

For adults

  • Potassium keeps the heart rate harmonious, stable. The diet rich in Potassium also reduces the amount of cholesterol in the blood, limiting the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Potassium has the effect of conditioning blood pressure, reducing the risk of stroke.
  • Potassium also supports the metabolism of proteins and powdered sugars, helping the digestive system to function effectively, stimulating the development of the muscular system and nervous system.

For pregnant women

  • Potassium helps balance water and electrolyses in the body. Pregnant women need potassium supplements to stabilize blood pressure.
  • Potassium also reduces cramps in the legs. Pregnant women need about 4.7 g of Potassium per day.

For children

  • Potassium is necessary for muscle and brain development in a child. School-aged children often suffer from Potassium deficiency.
  • Potassium helps prevent the risk of blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, kidney stones for children in the future.

3. How deficiency or excess potassium will affect the body

Potassium deficiency

  • Potassium deficiency is caused by many causes: it is possible that it is cases of diarrhea for days, excessive vomiting, or excessive sweating, absorption disorders, malnutrition, long-term alcoholism, abuse of dies, urinary insubation …
  • Manifestations of potassium deficiency: Symptoms of mild potassium deficiency: body fatigue, muscle pain, lower exaggeratm, insomnia, depression, allergic skin, blisters, dry skin, inflammation of the intestinal tract. Symptoms of severe potassium deficiency: nausea, diarrhea, arrhythmias, confusion, dislocation, poor concentration, slow reflexes, joint pain. Prolonged potassium deficiency will cause cardiovascular and nervous system disorders, more seriously can cause muscle paralysis, death.

Excess potassium

  • Causes of excess blood potassium: High blood potassium levels are common in trauma, burns, cancer, post-surgery, hemolysis … due to the large amount of potassium in the cell is released into the bloodstream. Or due to pathology in the kidneys, due to the failure to eliminate potassium.
  • Manifestations of excess potassium in the blood: Hyperkalemia leads to nausea, bloating, diarrhea, heart beating, numbness of the fingertips and legs, severe cases that can cause the heart to stop beating, death.

4. Foods rich in Potassium


Foods high in potassium
  • Potassium is the easiest nutrient to get, it is necessary to eat a variety of foods, especially foods rich in potassium such as: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, lean pork, beef, beans of all kinds, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, corn, amaranth, cabbage, orange, lemon, banana … Fruits, chocolate, especially bananas.
  • Food groups containing relative amounts of Potassium include: fish, clams, cereals, yogurt .

5. Prevention

  • To avoid reducing potassium blood should avoid losing a lot of sweat during labor or heavy exercise by regularly drinking water even if thirst is not seen, it is best to water oresol.
  • When there is an emergency diarrhea, it is best to go to the doctor immediately; if an elderly person has cardiovascular disease with urgent diarrhea, he/she will be immediately admitted to the hospital.
  • Do not abuse enema and weeds. For those who must regularly take medications for hypertension, weeds, anti-heart failure drugs or themselves with diabetes mellitus, it is necessary to be supplemented with more potassium by choosing to eat foods rich in potassium, or taking the drug in case of necessity.
  • The subjects of potassium deficiency are usually: patients with diarrhea, especially children, people with kidney disease, diabetes, people with a lot of sweating …

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About: Minh Quynh

b1ffdb54307529964874ff53a5c5de33?s=90&d=identicon&r=gI am the author of I had been working in Vinmec International General Hospital for over 10 years. I dedicate my passion on every post in this site.


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