PROPERTIES OF POTASSIUM
Functions of potassium
The main organic functions of potassium are the following:
– To maintain the balance of the liquids of the organism: Potassium takes part in the balance of the liquids of the organism along with sodium and chloride.
Cells have potassium inside, whereas sodium is in the outside. The balance is obtained inwards by means of the movement of both or towards outside the cells through cellular membranes.
This movement is what determines the transport of nutrients into the cell and the excretion of waste products and excess water from it.
– Driving nervous impulse through the nerves.
– To determine the contraction or relaxation of muscles.
Potassium for the arterial pressure
– To regulate the heart rate: Potassium allows the relaxation of the cardiac muscle after the stimulation produced by calcium.
Potassium in the health of the heart
– To regulate the arterial pressure: High levels of sodium compared to potassium raise blood pressure. Potassium counteracts sodium and helps to balance these levels.
– It takes part in the metabolism: It takes part in many metabolic processes, like helping the secretion of the insulin, turning the sugar into glycogen, to synthesize proteins, etc.
Symptoms of potassium deficiency. Problems of lack of potassium
Potassium deficiency is known by the name of hypokalemia. The main symptoms that there is a lack of potassium are:
– Alterations of the heart rate with appearance of tachycardia.
– Corporal Weakness, nausea or dizziness.
– Cramps in the legs.
– Involuntary weakness of muscles, muscular contractions or muscular paralysis.
– In extreme cases, heart attacks.
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