Interesting Facts About Potassium

There are several interesting facts about potassium that may surprise you. While many food facts are common knowledge, there are some surprising issues with potassium that are important to know.

Electrolytes and Potassium
Potassium is one of three minerals that make up the electrolytes in our body. Electrolytes conduct electricity in the body; as a result the function of potassium is essential to good health, especially for athletes. Potassium is linked to muscle function, energy storage and use and mental alertness.

How Does Sodium Relate to Potassium?
If you have a high sodium level and a low potassium level, your body will actually leach calcium from your bones and excrete the calcium from your body in your urine, causing you to be a danger for osteoporosis. Potassium can counter this problem, remedying the situation. This is why it's important to eat a diet rich in potassium and low in sodium.

Potassium-Rich Foods and Cooking Processes
When you cook potassium-rich foods, they typically lose some of their potassium. This can be good in the cases of things like parsley tea, which will make a potassium-rich tea, but this is bad in situations where the water in which a food was cooked is discarded.

Ketogenic Diets and Potassium
People who go on keogenic diets-diets rich in fats and low in carbohydrates and proteins-may experience serious potassium deficiencies. It is wise for those on ketogenic diets to take potassium supplements.

Some Medications Interact With Potassium
Interestingly enough, some medications will increase your blood level of potassium while some medications will decrease your blood level of potassium. Ace inhibitors, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, and sulfonamide antibiotics will increase your potassium blood levels. Laxatives, diuretics, prednisone and some forms of chemotherapy drugs all cause you to lose potassium.

What Medical Conditions are Especially Vulnerable to Issues Related to Potassium?
You should pay attention to your potassium intake if you suffer from atherosclerosis, you diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, osteoporosis, hepatitis or cataracts. You should also be concerned if you are extremely underweight, exercise excessively, are on a severe diet where you consume very few calories or you regularly take laxatives or diuretics.

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