the potassium is a mineral which is essential for the proper functioning of our body. The latter participates in several vital functions. Moreover, it is present in each of our cells. What exactly are all its functions and where can it be found?
What are the actions of potassium?
When this mineral is associated with sodium, it takes part in several actions. It plays, for example, a role at the level of cells nerves and muscles, but also in the blood. the potassium also participates in the contraction of muscles, such as the heart. The combination of these two minerals allows nerve transmission to the muscles. In addition, we note its importance in cardiovascular health by regulating heart rate and blood pressure, especially according to sodium intake.
Always at the level of cells, the latter determines the amount of water that will be present. the mineral salt will have a function on the activity of several enzymes. In addition, it will ensure the synthesis of proteins or glycogen, which is a form of storage of sugar in the body. Furthermore, its involvement in the secretion of gastric juice, as well as the production of aldosterone, are to be determined. Aldosterone is the hormone that controls the amount of sodium and potassium. Other hormones are involved in the metabolism of this mineral saltnamely cortisol, catecholamines or vasopressin which is an antidiuretic hormone.
What are the current nutritional references?
In the particular case of France, it is estimated that the recommended daily allowances are far superior to the body’s needs. Moreover, no official figures have been established on this subject. But given the importance of this mineral, especially for cardiovascular health, it is advisable to respect the intake of 3,500 mg/d for this element. In addition, the potassium level, called kalemia, must be balanced to ensure proper functioning of the muscles, but also of the heart and kidneys. The normal rate is set at around 2.5 millimoles/litre of blood. When there is an excess, we then speak of hyperkalemia and in the event of deficiencyit’s a hypokalemia. An imbalance can cause more or less significant problems.
What are the risks incurred in the event of a deficiency?
I’hypokalemia can cause major damage to the body. It can start with a state of fatigue or weakness, the appearance of cramps, bloating. In the most serious cases, muscle paralysis and cardiac arrhythmia can be observed. However, the remedy is simple. Just make up the deficit. When the case turns out to be more serious, it is necessary to consult a doctor.
Moreover, according to observations, it is noted that in developing countries, the potassium/sodium ratio shows that up to 10 times more potassium. This is the opposite case in industrialized countries. We would therefore tend to advise increasing the intake of this element, especially in France.
Where to find potassium?
This mineral is present in most of the foods we eat. Among those that are rich in it, we can cite cocoa (1,510 mg/100 g) or even dried fruits (750 to 1,090 mg/100 g) and poultry (700 mg/100 g) as well as meat ( 416 mg/100 g) and fish (450 to 462 mg/100 g).
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