Dried white mushroom
Potassium was opened in 1807 by chemist Denis. The name he received from the Arabic word al-Kali, which was designated alkaline substances. Originally it was called potassie — from the word potash, which translates as ash. The fact is that the potash was obtained from the ash of burnt wood, which was then boiled down in huge boilers. This substance, by the way, went to the production of nitrate, as well as gunpowder.
This element is a white metal (see photo) that does not have a solid crystal lattice. It is chemically active, as a result of which it is almost impossible to meet it in a free state.
Potassium, like no other element, clearly represents the picture of the duality of our world, because this element is so important for balance in the body, at the same time it is a component part of the strongest poison in the world — potassium cyanide (hydrocyanic acid). So what is potassium like?
The action of potassium, its biological role and functions in the body
The action of a trace element is essential for the functioning of the human body and its normal functioning.
Potassium has a beneficial effect on our body in the form of salts. The regulation of water balance and heart rhythm entirely depends on them. It is important to bear in mind that potassium is always “steamed” with sodium. The failure of this complex can lead to problems with muscle and nervous tissue, which can cause convulsions. Potassium does not allow sodium salts to accumulate in the vessels, and thus prevents sclerosis from developing.
This element in accordance with its biological role is extremely necessary in the work of the kidneys, liver, cells and fibers of the nervous system, and it is also important for the heart muscle, its vessels and capillaries. It is part of the bones, hair, nails and teeth.
Another element, without which potassium can not actively work, is magnesium, which just regulates the activity of the nervous system and heart muscle.
Potassium is also involved in the process of saturation of cells with oxygen, in addition, its functions include cleaning the body of toxic substances, controlling the level of blood pressure. He also participates in enzymatic processes.
In general, potassium is a significant trace element and performs many functions in the body:
- control of acid-base and water-salt balance;
- the stability of the kidneys;
- normalization of magnesium levels, so important for the work of the heart;
- regulation of protein and carbohydrate metabolism;
- control of the amount of sodium salts in order to avoid their accumulation;
- excretion of excess water, preventing the formation of edema.
Some salts of potassium in medicine are used as a diuretic and laxative agent (wine-potassium and nitrogen-sodium salts), potassium permanganate, compounds with iodine and bromine are also widely used.
Daily rate — what is the need for a substance for a person?
The daily rate of the trace element varies depending on age, gender, type of activity and even place of residence and season. So an adult needs 2.5 grams of potassium, but pregnant women need to use one gram more. Athletes and people exposed to constant physical activity need about 5 grams.
The level of potassium is significantly affected by stressful states, the active use of alcohol, caffeine and sweets. In such cases, the need for an element increases substantially.
Also, do not forget that the content of potassium depends on the season — in the fall it is the most, while in the spring it is two times less in the body.
The main sources of potassium are mainly plant-based products such as bananas, melons, all citrus fruits, grapes, apricots, cucumbers, asparagus, spinach, beans and potatoes. Also a lot of it is contained in cereals (oatmeal, millet). In animal products, potassium can be found in beef, milk, fish.
But things are not so simple: plant foods rich in potassium are able to excrete sodium from the body, unlike organic products.
There is a simple means to get potassium — dilute 1 part of honey with the same amount of vinegar and drink 2-3 times a day. You can use it as a salad dressing. Potassium in these foods is very easy to digest.
In winter, dried fruit (especially dried apricots) and nuts (almonds and pine nuts) will be a good supplier of potassium.
Vegetables are better baked or consumed raw, because potassium does not tolerate boiling and soaking. But if you still boil them, then it is better to drink and decoction, because all the nutrients remained there. This does not apply to legumes.
The lack of trace elements can lead to many complications, because there are metabolic disorders and as a result such problems and diseases can occur:
- arrhythmia of the heart and heart attacks;
- blood pressure regulation is disturbed;
- ulcerations on the mucous membranes develop — ulcers of the stomach, duodenum, cervical erosion, stomatitis;
- muscle weakness, fatigue, nausea;
- external manifestations in the form of dry and dull skin, hair loss;
- frequent urination, malfunction of the kidneys and adrenal glands;
- diarrhea, vomiting, paralysis in children;
- disruption of the nervous system, the development of convulsive phenomena;
- difficult course of pregnancy and problem childbirth;
- high swelling of limbs and bruising;
The reasons for the lack of potassium are quite trivial «irrational» diet, alcohol, coffee, soda, diuretic drugs that are used uncontrollably and remove potassium from the body in large quantities.
Also, potassium deficiency can contribute to stress and psychological stress, an excess of sodium and alkali.
Potassium overdose is no less dangerous than a deficiency and is also capable of causing a number of diseases. It can provoke a breakdown in the functioning of the kidneys and the heart muscle. Increases the likelihood of urolithiasis due to the deposition of potassium salts. In more serious cases, paralysis of the limbs, tissue necrosis, and death in the blood potassium concentration of more than 0.1% can occur.
The first symptoms of an excess of potassium are also quite unpleasant: a constant feeling of thirst, uncontrolled constipation and diarrhea, irritability, overexcitement, intestinal colic.
Causes of increased dosage of an element in the blood can be hormonal disorders, diabetes mellitus, poor diet, and also when the necessary balance of potassium, sodium and magnesium elements is not observed.
In the event of a potassium-containing poisoning, it is extremely important to consult a doctor to select the correct treatment.
Indications for the appointment of microelement:
2. Arrhythmia of the heart, regardless of origin.
3. Intoxication drugs.
4. Insufficiency of potassium in the body.
Potassium preparations are not used in cases of impaired renal function and adrenal insufficiency.
Potassium is most often included in the complex of vitamins and trace elements for daily intake.
Asparkam and panagin are considered the most popular drugs to replenish the amount of potassium; they contain potassium and magnesium. They are prescribed for angina pectoris and for recovery from an infarction state.
In case of critical deficiencies, doctors may recommend taking medications containing acetates and potassium chlorides.