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Potassium

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What other names is Potassium known by?

Acétate de Potassium, Atomic number 19, Bicarbonate de Potassium, Chlorure de Potassium, Citrate de Potassium, Gluconate de Potassium, Glycérophosphate de Potassium, K, Numéro Atomique 19, Orotate de Potassium, Phosphate de Potassium, Potasio, Potassium Acetate, Potassium Bicarbonate, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Gluconate, Potassium Glycerophosphate, Potassium Hydroxide, Potassium Orotate, Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Sulfate, Sulfate de Potassium.

What is Potassium?

Potassium is a mineral that plays many critical roles in the body. Food sources of potassium include fruits (especially dried fruits), cereals, beans, milk, and vegetables.

Potassium is used for treating and preventing low potassium levels. It is also used to treat high blood pressure and prevent stroke.

Some people use it to treat high levels of calcium, a type of dizziness called Menière's disease, thallium poisoning, insulin resistance, symptoms of menopause, and infant colic. It is also used for allergies, headaches, acne, alcoholism, Alzheimer's disease, confusion, arthritis, blurred vision, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, an intestinal disorder called colitis, constipation, dermatitis, bloating, fever, gout, insomnia, irritability, mononucleosis, muscle weakness, muscular dystrophy, stress, and with medications as treatment for myasthenia gravis.

Healthcare providers give potassium intravenously (by IV) for treating and preventing low potassium levels, irregular heartbeats, and heart attack.

Effective for...

  • Low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia). Taking potassium by mouth or intravenously (by IV) prevents and treats low levels of potassium in the blood.

Possibly Effective for...

  • High calcium in the urine (hypercalciuria). Taking potassium by mouth seems to decrease calcium levels in the urine.
  • High blood pressure. Potassium seems to lower systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) by about 2-4 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by about 0.5-3.5 mm Hg. Potassium seems to be most effective for lowering blood pressure in African Americans and people with low potassium levels or high daily sodium intake. In addition, potassium from food sources, but not from supplements, may help to prevent high blood pressure.
  • Stroke. Potassium from dietary sources seems to decrease the risk of stroke. There is some evidence that foods providing at least 350 mg of potassium per serving and that are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol might help reduce the risk stroke. However, there is no proof that taking potassium supplements can decrease the risk of stroke.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Dental pain. Some research suggests that using a toothpaste that contains potassium nitrite reduces tooth sensitivity. However, these toothpastes might still be less effective than other standard toothpastes.
  • Insulin resistance.
  • Heart attack.
  • Menopausal symptoms.
  • Fatigue and mood swings in early menopause.
  • Infant colic.
  • Allergies.
  • Headaches.
  • Acne.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Alzheimer's disease.
  • Arthritis.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Cancer.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Colitis.
  • Confusion.
  • Constipation.
  • Skin problems.
  • Bloating.
  • Fever.
  • Gout.
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia).
  • Irritability.
  • Menière's disease.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Muscular dystrophy.
  • Stress.
  • Myasthenia gravis.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate potassium for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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