What is the role of potassium in our body?
Dr Victor Marchione | May 29th, 2015
When it comes to good health, there are some essentials we can’t live without. For example, for out body to perform all it needs to do, it requires these essential minerals: Potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, chlorine and phosphorus. When balanced, these seven essential minerals keep your body in check and working properly. But when there is an imbalance, the side effects can really take a toll.
One essential mineral which can be linked to an increase in serious muscle cramps if there is a deficiency is potassium. You may know the body needs potassium and it can be found in bananas. But potassium is more than a mineral found in fruit. It contributes a lot more to the body as a whole. So here is what you need to know about this essential mineral.
What is potassium?
Potassium, as mentioned, is an essential mineral which affects the balance of fluid within the body. It helps regulate the kidneys and plays a role in the brain, nerve functions and heart health. Furthermore, potassium is also present in our muscles, and low potassium intake can lead to debilitating muscle cramps.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 3,510 mg of potassium a day and also suggests that the average American is not taking in the recommended dose.
Potassium deficiency: Causes, symptoms and diseases
Potassium can be found in potassium rich foods or in supplement form, but sometimes if we don’t get our potassium daily intake, we run the risk of a potassium deficiency.
Low potassium intake can lead to hypokalemia – or potassium deficiency. This can be caused by many reasons; for example, by the use of water pills, excessive loss of fluids – either through diarrhea or vomiting – use of insulin, and decreasing food intake can all be a cause for hypokalemia.
About The Author:
Dr. Victor Marchione received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and continued on to do his Medical Degree at the University of Messina. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for more than 20 years. For more visit Bel Marra Health.