Food Sources of Potassium:
- Apricots, dried or fresh
- Beef liver
- Blackstrap molasses
- Brown rice
- Orange juice
- Squash, winter
- Sweet potato
- Tomato, raw
- Torula yeast
Herb Sources of Potassium:
- Red clover
Other Sources of Potassium – Brand Names
Types of Potassium available for use as supplements include:
- Potassium Acetate
- Potassium Bicarbonate
- Potassium Chloride (Salt substitutes)
- Potassium Gluconate
- Organically Bound Minerals (Standard Process Labs)
- Min-Tran (Standard Process Labs)
There are a HUGE amount of potassium supplements out there under about 50 different names.
Signs of Potassium Deficiency:
- Abnormally dry skin
- Cognitive impairment
- Diminished reflex function
- Fluctuations in heartbeat
- Glucose intolerance
- Growth impairment
- High cholesterol levels
- Insatiable thirst
- Low blood pressure
- Muscular fatigue and weakness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Periodic headaches
- Proteinuria (protein in the urine)
- Respiratory distress
- Salt retention
Health Concerns – What Potassium is used for:
- High blood pressure (for people not taking potassium-sparing diuretics)
- Congestive heart failure
What Potassium Does:
- Aids in maintaining a regular heart beat
- Helps prevent stroke
- Important for a healthy nervous system
- Maintains blood pressure
- Maintains muscle tone and proper muscle contraction
- Regulates levels of acidity
- Regulates the transfer of nutrients through cell membranes
- Regulates water balance
- Required for carbohydrate and protein metabolism
Cautions & Comments About Potassium:
- High potassium intake (several hundred milligrams at one time in tablet form) can produce stomach irritation
- Kidney disorders, diarrhea, prolonged vomiting and the use of diuretics or laxatives all disrupt potassium levels
- Potassium is needed for hormone secretion. The secretion of stress hormones causes a decrease in the potassium-to-sodium ratio both inside and outside the cells. As a result, stress increases the body’s potassium requirements.
- Drug Interactions: The following drugs are known to interact with the absorption of potassium:
- Amilorid: causes a dangerous rise in blood potassium.
- Atropine: increases the possibility of intestinal ulcers, which may be caused by potassium supplements.
- Belladonna: increases possibility of intestinal ulcers.
- Calcium: increases likelihood of heartbeat irregularities.
- Captopril: increases likelihood of potassium overdose.
- Digitalis preparations: may cause irregular heartbeat.
- Enalapril: increases chance of overdose.
- Laxatives: may decrease effectiveness of potassium (due to the fact that they leach potassium from the body).
- Spironolactone: increases blood potassium.
- Triamterene: increases blood potassium.
- Vitamin B12: slow release supplements may decrease the absorption of vitamin B12, increasing requirements.
Helpful Links and Handouts:
- Potassium Broth Recipe
- http://www.drugs.com/cons/Potassium_Supplements.html (Good food chart and long list of drug interactions in addition to the names of the potassium supplements you may encounter.)