Last Modified on Apr 27, 2014
A part of every cell in the body, potassium is an essential nutrient. Life is literally impossible without this one key element. As such, potassium is an effective treatment for a wide range of conditions and a necessary dietary component for preventing an array of health issues.
What is Potassium?
A fairly simple mineral, potassium is often overlooked as an essential mineral. At its core, potassium is crucial for life and bodily function. Its main purpose is helping the heart beat. Potassium actually triggers the squeezing or pumping of the heart that feeds blood throughout the body.
Potassium is an abundant mineral that is found in both the soil and in seawater. The nutrient is considered a critical electrolyte that feeds the body. This singular nutrient is responsible for enabling muscle movement, motivating nerve function and filtering blood in the kidneys. The body must have an adequate or appropriate balance of the nutrient to facilitate beating of the heart and functioning of the cardiovascular system.
Most individuals get an adequate amount of potassium daily by eating a normal diet. Fruits and vegetables are typically the main source of potassium in an individual’s diet; however, potassium is also found in dairy products, whole grains, meat, and fish. Potatoes, tomatoes, avocados, fresh fruit, orange juice, dried fruit, spinach, beans, and peas are among the best sources of potassium.
Health Benefits of Potassium
As potassium plays such a vital role in the body, getting enough of the nutrient is crucial for good health. The nutrient also functions as an effective health treatment when used as a supplement. A diet high in potassium has such effects as reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering the risk of cancer, and decreasing the risk of obesity.
Additionally, potassium is used to treat specific conditions. Eye dryness, gout, lupus, high cholesterol, stroke, and heart disease can all be treated and prevented using potassium.
As with any nutritional supplement, potassium must be taken in moderation. In appropriate doses, however, the nutrient offers ample health benefits and produces positive effects on the heart and the rest of the body.
01/12/2013: Betty from Umatilla, Fl: "I am 55 yrs old and have high potassium (5.6). Will taking Apple Cider Vinegar make my potassium even higher? Is it safe for me?"
04/20/2010: Alfred from Bangkok, Thailand: "My Opinion.. I Discovered ACV in 1994 for my personal use.. I have taken it steady and have suggested that my friends should take.
MY CONCLUSION.. MOST PEOPLE ARE LOW ON POTASSIUM..HAVE YOU EVER ASKED YOUR DOCTOR WHEN YOU TAKE A BLOOD TEST.. TO PLEASE CHECK YOUR POTASIUM LEVEL.. I DO NOT THINK YOUR DOCTOR WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT.. NORMAL LEVEL IS 3-5.. IF YOUR LEVEL IS LOWER THAN 3.. YOUR SICK.
THE REASON YOU FEEL BETTER WHEN YOU TAKE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR... ITS LOADED WITH POTASSIUM.
STAY WELL MY FRIENDS
EC: re: Potassium content of Apple Cider Vinegar
Bragg's ACV has only 11 mg of potassium per teaspoon (http://bragg.com/products/bragg-organic-apple-cider-vinegar.html)... quite a negligible quantity. A banana, on the other hand, contains at least 450 mg of potassium. If you're interested in increasing potassium, bananas are a better way to go!
11/17/2010: Luppi from Msp, Mn replies: "A Correction: _____'s ACV has 11 mg of potassium per tablespoon not teaspoon."
05/03/2011: Teresa from Rockford, Iowa replies: "Bananas may be a great source of potassium but I suffer extreme gas and stomach pain. Acv is the best source of balancing stomach acid and maintaining health."
10/21/2010: Alfred from Bangkok, Thailand: "Our cells are little Generators. We must keep them healthy.. Easy to take care of with Balanced diet.. We must keep the Potassium/salt balance in our body Healthy.. If that is healthy we stay healthy.. But what happens WE EAT SALT.. NOT healthy food.. That is our challenge.. If we stay away from regular salt.. Much easier to stay healthy. Please note excerpt from book by c. Samuel west #25. We have concerns the effect of poisons in our body we must stay away from Salt, simple sugar, fats, and High cholesterol foods. MUST increase the consumption of fruits, vegatables and whole grains. Sprout the seeds and grains(Rejuvelac) they become a better source of minerals and nutrients for the Cells.. Healthy Cells we stay healthy..
Please note.. The minute the cell has more Salt than Potasium our bones in our back start to fall apart and we have back problems.. Please, Please eliminate regular salt from your diet, were ever it is.. In fast food, in soy sauce, in garlic salt, in container of salt.. We can live with out salt. Its Up to You.. Put only health stufff in your body. Alfred"Replies
10/22/2010: Francisca from Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France replies: "Hi Alfred, I have to say that apart from the sugar I couldn't agree less with you! Our bodies need fats, cholesterol and salt in order to function well! The fatless diets are a misconception of our society if you ask me! The only question is the kind of fats, some experts go for saturated fats and nothing but that, others go for vegetable oils.... Difficult to know who tells the truth...... My thoughts on that is that people always lived healthy on saturated fats and since vegetable oils (other than olive oil appeared) health issues became far worse so I know which fats I go for although.... A little doubt stays in the back of my mind! But no fats and no cholesterol... No! Read books like Trick and Treat and Fats and Cholesterol are good for you! Then you can make up your mind!"
10/22/2010: Francisca from Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France replies: "One more thing, don't forget the liver makes a lot more cholesterol than we could ever eat so it is actually no use to eat less, you will only force your liver to make more. That said you are right the ration potassium/salt should be correct!"
03/11/2012: Mike from Denver, Colorado replies: "1 gram of wind and sun dried sea salt can be taken with 1 quart of water the excess sodium is removed from the tissues by the magnesium 1 tsp of trachang fish sauce contains 1/2 gram of sun dried sea salt the dosage is not per day but per quantity of water 1 tsp trachang fish sauce per pint of water several times a day is a very good remedy sun dried sea salt can be purchased from whole foods $1.69 for 24 ounces you can get 500 milligrams potassium from 1 tsp cream of tarter."
04/20/2010: Alfred from Bangkok, Thailand: "Did You Know Our Cells in Our Body are Little Electrical Cells?
Yes, our cells in our body are little electrical cells..Simple explanation .. is Mostly Potasium and a little Salt.
If you eat a lot of fast food and junk food, which is Loaded with Salt.. your killing your-self according to the USA Government finding.. An Article written in 1977.Just push into the computor..USA 1977 findings on excess Salt in our Diet.
Sooo what happens the Salt pushes the Potassium out of our cells and kills the cell.. then we get sick, very sick.
So Please stay away from Salt and take ACV Daily
04/22/2010: Kelly from San Luis Obispo, Ca replies: "I agree that processed salt, regular table salt as well as salt in commercially processed foods should be avoided. Sea Salt on the other hand as nearly 80 beneficial minerals that your body does need. The book Salt Your Way to Health, was extremely informative to me on figuring out how much and what kind of salt to use."
[YEA] 06/07/2011: Wendy from Perth, Western Australia replies: "I've never been much of a salt user. I've always suffered from muscle cramps on and off but I ended up with horrendous leg/foot cramps during the hot weather this last Summer so I started drinking electrolytes and adding a little sea salt to my cooking. The cramps have completely stopped. Isn't salt required in the cells for electrical impulses to be carried?"
06/07/2011: Francisca from Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France replies: "Eating bananas and magnesium or magnesium chloride help well with cramps!"
10/09/2011: Chris from Sahuarita, Az replies: "I think Alfred should be referring to 'Sodium' instead of the catch all of 'salt'. After all, there are also uranium salts, amphetamine salts, boron salts, etc. "Salt" is a from, not technically a specific substance. The reason you hear that you should stay away from too much 'salt' is because common table salt was originally made by refinement for use as an industrial chemical and is almost pure sodium. So an over abundance of pure sodium without the minerals it is naturally found with causes an imbalance in your body chemistry. The natural substances of sea salt, Celtic salt, Himalayan salt, etc. have the correct balance of nearly 80 beneficial minerals (as Kelly from San Luis Obispo pointed out)"
[YEA] 01/17/2007: Kathy from Stratton, CO: "Why I take a potassium supplement: I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2006. Because of the chemotherapy and lack of appetite my potassium dropped to a critical level of 2.7. As I got stronger and finished with the treatments my level has gone up to a 4.0. I also have high blood pressure, had to change this medication."
10/18/2009: Mortie from Pahrump, Nv: "For your minimum daily requirement of potassium take one level teaspoon of CREAM of TARTER - ABOUT 5 GRAMS as compared to 99 milligrams in a tablet. You will have to mix it in your favorite soda to cut the very tart taste. You would have to take 50.5 tablets to obtain the same amount of potassium."
EC: Has anyone used cream of tartar medicinally? It's an old time remedy and we're discovering interesting information while researching it right now. Only side effect noted is gastrointestinal distress (diarrhea) if too much consumed in one day.
04/13/2010: Catherine from Wellington, New Zealand replies: "Reply to EC: 30 years ago I had a friend (now deceased) who was crippled as a young woman 20 years before with polio. She told me she took a teaspoon of cream of tartar in water every morning on rising and that this kept her "water" flowing in good order. I regret now I didn't clarify exactly what she meant, maybe having partial paralysis (she could manage on crutches) meant her bladder needed better control or to prevent any edema. She did mention that it was a remedy well known among her contemporaries. Hope this helps a bit."
EC: Thank you so much!
09/28/2012: Catherine from Wellington, New Zealand replies: "Hi, further to my previous post I happened to google cream of tartar and found many references to its use as a remedy for UTI's. This was probably what my friend meant when she indicated it for "water problems""
06/19/2013: Anonymous from - replies: "To what I could gather one gram of CoT would have aproximately 200mg of potassium. (I used wikipedia for molar masses of CoT and tartaric acid). I weighed one tsp to be around 4 g (solid is about 5 g according to wiki).
So one tsp of CoT would contain around 800mg of potassium, if I'm not completely mistaken. One source (http://blog.fooducate.com/2011/01/11/8-things-to-know-about-cream-of-tartar/ ) said it would contain 495 mg of potassium. I packed mine quite densely though and my equipment isn't necessarily very accurate."
12/01/2013: Ann from La, Ca replies: "Please correct your dangerously inaccurate information on this page regarding the potassium amount in cream of tartar. Other websites are quoting this information from your page, believing they are quoting a reliable source.
The reference on the page is this:
10/18/2009: Mortie from Pahrump, Nv: "For your minimum daily requirement of potassium take one level teaspoon of CREAM of TARTER - ABOUT 5 GRAMS as compared to 99 milligrams in a tablet."
That is incorrect. 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar contains just 11% of your daily needs, which is 495mg of potassium, not 5 grams -- that's a 10X difference. You can cite the following reliable sources:
[YEA] Anonymous : "Eating a banana every day may help to avoid eye dryness -- the main cause of irritation, redness and itch. Bananas are rich in potassium, which plays a role in salt balance and the release of fluid in your cells."
[YEA] Janet from Detriot, MI: "Here is a home remedy for fatigue.
Cut an unpeeled potato in slices in the evening and leave the pieces in water overnight. The juice, drunk in the morning, is rich in potassium. I read in a book that potassium deficiencies are common in people with fatigue."
[YEA] 01/06/2008: Stoney from Wallaceburg, Ontario Canada: "Hi Everyone, I've had the pleasure of suffering with gout for over 50 years. When I used to play rugby, after every game, both of my big toes felt like they were on fire. As you all have, I tried every remedy I could, trying to stay away from Allopurinol as much as possible. Finally, I came across a magic bullet - potassium supplements. I tend to be a bit of a carnivore so my diet lacks the proper levels of potassium. I was reading an article about arthritis (another legacy of 30 years of rugby) and they mentioned that low potassium levels contributed to the problem and in passing mentioned that potassium also appeared to dissolve Uric crystals. The next time I had an attack, I started taking potassium supplements and IT WORKED. Within a day, the pain was reduced to a dull roar and within 2 it was gone completely.What a relief! I can't recommend this approach enough. Good Luck. Stoney"
03/09/2013: Angie from Concord, Nc: "Hi earth clinic friends, I had my potassium levels checked twice in the last two weeks it's remained the same - 5.5. I am about to have elective surgery in one week. The doctor has given the green light but, I was wondering if I could use baking soda to reduce my level.
I so love this site even though a lot of it goes over my head. I wish smartness was contagious."
[YEA] 04/13/2009: Abby from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA: "Several years ago I started low carbing. I felt very sick at first with the huge water loss so I started taking potassium supplements and it fixed the problem. It also helped with lupus symptoms. Since then, I've been taking 6 99mg tabs - 2 tabs 3 times a day. On low carb, I eat virtually no fruits but many vegs. but when I lower the amount of potassium I don't feel as good and I get low back pain. Is this a dangerous amount of potassium? I have had blood tests on this amount and they've been normal. Also, I just started to add EVCO and ACV to my diet. Will these help me to get off the potassium supplements? If so, how should I taper the pills? Thanks for any advice."Replies
04/13/2009: PR from Houston, Texas replies: "Dear Abby,
I have also been taking 5 tablets of potassium almost everyday. Like you I am one of those who need a lot of potassium. I have been doing this for 5 years now and am fine. Like you I have often worried about it but can't live without this amount. I have been told it is because of low stomach acid the mineral are not getting into the system like they should. I don't know if this is right but there is a reason. I am fighting fibromyalgia and in a lot of pain all the time so think the minerals are being use up in this way. But don't know for sure. Read up on Nano bacteria and mycoplasmas and fluoride posioning. I am working on all these levels. I can tell you addressing these will help but lots of patience is required. Earth Clinic is a good source of information that can help."
09/30/2010: Lauralight from Milwaukie, Or replies: "I have low stomach acid too, I take 10 or so 99mg tabs of potassium per day. Iodine 2% drops about 20 per day helps with many other symptoms too, Lugol's brand in my drinks. I hurt myself by using superdieters tea and have needed much potassium suppliments from then on."
[YEA] Deirdre from Los Angeles: "I take potassium supplements every so often because I do so much martial arts training and my muscles are often severely fatigued. I find I am less tired the day after an intense workout when I take a potassium supplement along with a Calcium/Magnesium/Phosphorous liquid combo. I also take potassium when I am sick as it dries up excess mucous in the body. I have low blood pressure to begin with so I have to be careful not to overdo the potassium supplementation! I can tell it lowers my blood pressure somewhat.."Replies
04/27/2014: Brenda from Darien, Il replies: "You most likely have low blood pressure because you have low potassium levels. So taking potassium should not lower your blood pressure more, it should help normalize your blood pressure instead. I had a hair analysis done in the past and it said my sodium/potassium levels were very low. It also said I had low blood pressure due to the low sodium/potassium levels. Yes potassium can lower blood pressure for those that have high blood pressure, but it shouldn't lower it more for those with already low blood pressure, it should just normalize it. Magnesium also lowers blood pressure too for those with high blood pressure and that also shouldn't lower blood pressure for those with already low blood pressure."
[YEA] 04/28/2008: Tracy from Slc, USA: "Potassium supplements stop the shakes and seizures in arms and upper body and charlie horse in the legs. I had a stomache staple at 16. 27 years ago. one side effect is the crawlies and the shakes then seizures the potassium helps stop them when they start as soon as I take them. but I take 99mg about 5-7 tablets depending on when it starts or I try to take twice a day sometimes I have to tke 4-7 times a day to help if i had any caffiene. which i try not to have. there is risks but to stop the this it is worth it.good side effects no high blood pressure no depression.the chemical in brain which controls this is potassium based. bad side effects if to much straight thru you like interstinal flu.so watch how much you take."
10/06/2009: Rascal from Livermore, Ca: "I've just been diagnosed with allergies to several types of potassium......bicarbonate, carbonate, casenate and sorbate. Has anyone had experience with this or know why this would be? It seems to be in everything."
[YEA] 06/24/2007: Brenda from Lodgepole, Nebraska: "I would caution readers that potassium effects the heart. Too much potassium can cause the heart to stop or beat to fast. Also, potassium and salt are a delicate balanced system that is used to keep the body's cellular pressures balanced. Not enough potassium may cause water retention due to the unbalanced increase of sodium in the body.
If one is going to take an OTC potassium supplement, make sure never to go over the recommend allowance. However, the best place to get potassium is from one food sources which provide other nutrients that work with each other to the bodies benefit. Also, some high blood pressure medications are potassium sensitive.
As for high blood pressure...that is the pressure on the arterial walls. The arteries have lost their elasticity and the pressure can cause the arteries to pop, especially the delicate small sections in the brain. Most high blood pressure medication deplete potassium. Those finding they are in the hypertension group should read, read, read and not believe product propaganda of a product. Check out peer reviewed documents on subject matter.
Dehydration will occur even if one does not take potassium. Dehydration is a loss of water and electrolytes, the + (positive) and - (negative) balance of the cells. Potassium and sodium keep the pressure of the cellular walls balanced.
I have never run across anything documented that connects potassium and mucus together. Can you provide references to this statement?"