Potassium is a mineral and an electrolyte in your body. Electrolytes are compounds that are able to conduct an electrical current.
FunctionsPotassium's functions include helping to:
- Regulate fluids and mineral balance in and out of body cells
- Maintain your normal blood pressure
- Transmit nerve impulses
- Make your muscles contract
Recommended IntakeMost people should aim to get close to 5,000 milligrams (mg) of potassium per day.
|Age|| Estimated Minimum Requirement of Potassium |
|> 13 years||4,700|
Potassium DeficiencySevere potassium deficiency leads to a low potassium level in the blood, called hypokalemia. But a potassium deficiency is rare in healthy people. However, certain conditions can cause the body to lose significant amounts of potassium. Examples of these conditions include:
- Excessive diarrhea or laxative use
- Kidney problems
- Use of certain blood pressure medications
- Continuous poor food intake—may occur as a result of alcoholism , anorexia nervosa , bulimia , or very low calorie diets