Potassium

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Potassium is a very important mineral to the human body. It has various roles in metabolism and body functions and is essential for the proper function of all cells, tissues and organs. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about potassium in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Potassium is a very important mineral for the proper function of all cells, tissues and organs in the human body. It is also an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body, along with sodium, chloride, calcium and magnesium.

Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for normal digestive and muscular function. Many foods contain potassium, including all meats, some types of fish, such as salmon, cod, and flounder, and many fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Dairy products are also good sources of potassium.

Having too much potassium in the blood is called hyperkalemia; having too little is known as hypokalemia. Keeping the right potassium balance in the body depends on the amount of sodium and magnesium in the blood. Too much sodium may increase the need for potassium.

Most people get all of the potassium they need from a healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Whatever your age, talk to your doctor before taking potassium supplements.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.