Potassium is an essential mineral that is found in many foods, and it's a highly effective electrolyte that maintains proper water levels and a healthy heart. This mineral can help with a myriad of different functions within the body including regulating blood pressure, helping with digestion, and maintaining a normal heart rhythm. If you're considering adding a potassium supplement to your diet, read on to learn more.
A large population of adults does not get an adequate amount of potassium in their daily diets. Some of the signs of low potassium include an irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations, fatigue, and muscle weakness. You may also notice feelings of tingling or numbness, muscle spasms, or frequent constipation. If you suspect that your blood potassium levels are low, ask your doctor for a blood test to confirm.
Your body cannot manufacture potassium on its own. As a result, you can only obtain the mineral by eating foods that contain it. Food sources of potassium include dried apricots, prunes, raisins, bananas, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, beans, nuts, dairy products, meats, poultry and fish. Individuals with digestive disease and those on certain medications are at an increased risk for low potassium levels. Potassium supplements may be recommended for anyone who has or is likely to develop a potassium deficiency.
Scientific research suggests that potassium may be beneficial for people who have or are at risk for developing certain medical conditions. Medical professionals may recommend potassium supplements for promoting heart and bone health, managing type 2 diabetes and lowering the likelihood of kidney stones. It's important to understand that there is not enough evidence to prove that potassium supplements are beneficial for addressing any medical condition.
To compare the strengths of potassium supplements, you can examine the number of milligrams (mg) of the mineral that products provide in a single serving. Most supplements provide dosages of 100 to 600 mg. Products also differ in form with capsules, caplets and tablets being the most common options.
Potassium supplements can pose a risk for side effects and interfere with some medications and other dietary supplements. As a result, it is important to consult a health care professional before taking potassium. Your medical provider can also recommend the best strength for your needs. Always follow the instructions provided by the supplement manufacturer unless otherwise directed by a medical professional.
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