What Is Potassium?
Potassium is a mineral that is crucial for life being essential for every cell, especially nerve and muscle function.
Most potassium is intracellular, meaning it is found within cells while sodium, its opposing mineral (both electrolytes), is found in the fluid surrounding cells.
In muscle contraction, exchange of potassium and sodium takes place so that potassium moves out of muscle cells and sodium moves into them.
With muscle relaxation, potassium moves back into the cells and sodium moves out. Functions are described below.
Importantly, a recent study investigating the association between the metabolic syndrome and potassium intake in the general population found a significant inverse association between potassium intake and metabolic syndrome in adults. That is, the lower the potassium intake, the greater the odds of developing metabolic syndrome. After adjusting for various lifestyle and dietary confounders, subjects in the highest quartile of potassium intake had 39% lower odds for metabolic syndrome compared to those in the lowest quartile. This association was consistent for both sexes. Among the components of metabolic syndrome, potassium intake was inversely related to abdominal obesity and fasting hyperglycemia in multivariate analysis.1
What Is Potassium Deficiency In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?
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Shin D, Joh HK, Kim KH, Park SM. Benefits of potassium intake on metabolic syndrome: The fourth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES IV). Atherosclerosis. 2013 Sep;230(1):80-5. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.06.025. ↩