Potassium plays a major role in the proper functioning of our body.
This nutrient is thus involved in the proper functioning of the cardiac system, nerve cells and even muscles.
Deficiency or excess, what are the consequences? How can we meet our daily potassium needs?
What is the role of potassium in the body?
Potassium (K) is necessary for the normal functioning of many mechanisms in the human body. Thus, it is particularly involved in:
- Contraction of muscles, especially in the contraction of the heart muscle
- Transmission of nerve impulses
- Regulation of blood pressure
- Maintaining acid-base balance at the cellular level. Potassium is in this case closely linked to sodium
Potassium cannot be synthesized by the human body.
It is also evacuated by the kidneys, in the same way as other nutrients. Only a perfectly balanced diet can guarantee a normal daily intake of potassium. If this is lower than the quantity recommended by ANSES, supplementation may be considered.
Unbalanced potassium diet: what are the risks?
Serum potassium is the name given to the concentration of potassium in blood plasma.
The norm is between 3.5 and 5 millimoles of K per liter (mmol/l). However, many factors can influence serum potassium, such as treatment with corticosteroids, poorly controlled insulin-dependent diabetes or simply a poorly varied diet.
What is hyperkalemia?
As soon as the potassium level in the blood plasma exceeds the value 5 millimoles per liter, we speak of hyperkalemia . The health consequences of excess potassium are potentially serious in the long term.
Hyperkalemia can have various origins such as renal failure. In this case, potassium is no longer eliminated through the urinary tract as it should be. However, this pathology can have other origins such as poorly controlled insulin-dependent diabetes or too intense physical activity.
Finally, it should be noted that hyperkalemia affects patients of both sexes equally, at any age.
It results in symptoms as diverse as:
- A cardiac arrhythmia
- A feeling of fatigue
- Tingling and numbness
- Breathing difficulties
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle weakness
What is hypokalemia?
Unlike hyperkalemia, hypokalemia corresponds to a plasma potassium concentration below 3.5 mmol/l . This deficiency may be due to:
- Insufficient daily intake if the diet is unbalanced
- Poor absorption of potassium from food by the digestive system
- Long-term medical treatment including laxatives, diuretics or corticosteroids
- Metabolic alkalosis
Hypokalemia can result in fatigue, digestive problems (unusual constipation), muscle cramps, heart rhythm disturbances and strokes for the most severe forms.
Food, food supplements, how to prevent potassium deficiency?
Foods richest in potassium
Good health often requires balanced meals. Regarding potassium, ANSES (National Agency for Food, Environment and Work Health Safety) recommends ten foods considered to be richest in potassium:
- Dried kombu seaweed: it is by far the most important source of potassium with 10,600 mg per 100 g;
- Dried tomato with 3430 mg per 100 g
- White beans with 1660 mg per 100 g
- Whole soybeans with 1740 mg per 100g
- Dried apricot with 1090 mg per 100 g
- Pistachio with 1020 mg per 100 g
- Sardines with 580 mg per 100 g
- Raw spinach with 504 mg per 100 g
- Raw fennel with 405 mg per 100 g
- Banana with 360 mg per 100 g
The benefit of supplementation
In 2016, ANSES carried out a major reassessment of the daily potassium intake necessary for an adult.
Indeed, the national agency estimates that 3500 mg are necessary daily, for both a man and a woman.
Today, many French people are far from the mark.
However, consumption respecting this recommendation would help prevent high blood pressure, the formation of kidney stones, osteoporosis and strokes.
Supplementation is therefore positioned today as a simple and effective solution to fully cover the needs of an adult and avoid a deficiency.
Our Magnesium + Potassium Argalys Essentiels supplement is formulated to cover all or part of adults' potassium needs.
Supplementation makes it possible to secure intakes, for all diets and particularly: athletes, pregnant and breastfeeding women, seniors or for consumers during slimming diets. It also helps to reduce the risks of heart disorders and health problems. 'ossification.
Please note that our Argalys Essentiels range is aimed at both women and men, from the age of 12. However, food supplements are in no way a substitute for a healthy and balanced diet.