Friday, October 29, 2010

Potassium: Don't take it for granted

Potassium is crucial for health and longevity, and although potassium deficiency is fairly common, and although I've perused many life-extension-related websites, I've never noticed any which stress its importance. The recommended amount varies with age. Experts on potassium discourage taking it in the form of supplements, apparently because of the risk of overdose (which is a few times the recommended amount), which has serious consequences. Also, potassium-rich foods contain other substances which facilitate the assimilation of potassium. However, dietary potassium is available in powder form, to be mixed with juice. If you go this route, use it judiciously and keep it out of the reach of children.

The body has mechanisms for maintaining a certain minimum potassium level, so it is rare to be so deficient that it becomes life-threatening, unless something interferes with these mechanisms. These conditions are mentioned on the above-linked web page.