Did you know that we offer potassium as part of your infusion therapy at our IV therapy Toronto lounge?
Mineral supplements can be critical for promoting wellness, especially for chronic health conditions. Potassium is an essential mineral, and surprisingly, it’s underrated for improving your health! Human body tissues actually thrive off of potassium. And according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “It is sometimes referred to as an electrolyte because it carries a small electrical charge that activates various cell and nerve functions.”
This mineral is imperative for our optimal functioning and cellular energy. So, how exactly does it work in the body? And how can it provide beneficial effects? For your reference, the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre has compiled 10 facts on this mineral.
“Diets that emphasize greater potassium intake can help keep blood pressure in a healthy range, compared with potassium-poor diets.” -Harvard Medical School
Fast Facts About Potassium
- Back when humans were solely hunters and gatherers, potassium levels were elevated 16x in the body compared to today. Now, due to the consumption of processed foods, the average Western diet contains high amounts of sodium and less potassium. Scientists speculate this is why many adults presently have high blood pressure issues.
- Approximately 98% of these mineral levels are housed in your cells. Eighty percent of that total is located in your muscle cells. Thus, cellular functioning heavily relies on this mineral. The Linus Pauling Institute explains that your “normal body function” is contingent on how much potassium is concentrated within the interior and exterior of cells.
- It acts as an electrolyte, a solution that disperses either positive or negative ions for promoting electricity. In the case of potassium inside your body, its mineral ions “… carry a positive charge,” Healthline explains. Therefore, this “electricity” is used for a wide range of body processes related to your muscle health, nerves, and fluid stability.
- Many factors could enhance your risk for kidney stones, including how much of this mineral is contained in the body. The journal Nutrients explains that this mineral, as well as magnesium, “are protective against kidney stone formation.” Thus, supplementation – combined with ideal water intake – might possibly reduce your chances of forming kidney stones.
- Ample potassium levels in the human body have been shown to reduce the incidence of strokes. In an eight-year study that Harvard Medical School highlighted, men who increased this mineral intake reduced their stroke risk by 38% when 4,300mg was consumed daily.
- Further research is necessary, though a Korean study showed that bone health might result in improvements using potassium. Bone mineral density (BMD) in adults aged 50+ and postmenopausal females was shown to improve when this dietary mineral was consumed.
- A nutritional deficiency is rare, however, other factors could promote a potassium shortcoming are: certain medications (i.e. diuretics), eating disorders, chronic diarrhea (fluid loss), kidney conditions, and Cushing’s syndrome. Symptoms of this deficiency may include muscle cramping, abnormal heart rhythms, tingling, breathing obstacles, and frequent urination.
8. Kidney function tends to lessen as some people age. Before supplementing with this mineral, please consult with a functional medicine provider to further help correct deficiencies. Some people may need to limit this mineral intake if they’ve been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, have blood pressure issues, or have reached an elderly age.
9. A functional medicine provider may provide you with strategies for augmenting this mineral intake. Dietary modifications may be discussed (see sidebar for food suggestions), as well as oral supplementation. Take note that unwanted side effects are sometimes related to oral supplements, which may possibly lead to nausea, indigestion, etc.
Consume these items to boost your potassium intake:
10. Another route to discuss with your functional medicine provider is vitamin IV therapy/intravenous therapy, which is a treatment that may increase blood cell production. It may be suitable for those who suffer from dysphagia or malabsorption, or who simply want to avoid digestive side effects. Therapeutic doses of the mineral –combined with other nutrients – are inserted into your bloodstream for a full absorption of nutrients. The nutritional solution is swiftly available for use, as it doesn’t need to be filtered through the digestive tract.
How can this supplement impact your health goals? Are you interested in vitamin IV drips? IV therapy is available at our IV Lounge in the Toronto area. Supervised by our in-house medical doctor, naturopathic doctor and nurse practitioner, we can accommodate a wide range of health concerns; these may include acute illness, substance withdrawal symptoms, adrenal function, much-needed energy, autoimmune disease, cellular damage, tissue repair, and other conditions.
About Our Clinic and IV Lounge
We celebrate your uniqueness at the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre! By treating each patient as an individual entity, we consider your medical history, genetics, lifestyle and environment to address your chief health concerns. Our integrative health approach allows you to grasp new methods for achieving optimal health. Some of our functional medicine programs may consist of Traditional Chinese Medicine, allopathic medicine, acupuncture, and/or bio-identical hormone therapy.
We take pride in our IV Lounge, which offers a personalized service of IV nutrient therapy, while embracing the functional medicine philosophy. We tailor intravenous drips for your health needs only! Our menu of IV therapy drips currently includes vitamin C (ascorbic acid), glutamic acid, a medley of amino acids, glutathione, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), major antioxidants, mistletoe, and other beneficial ingredients such as manganese, carnitine, molybdenum, and many more.
Let’s help guide you toward optimal functioning! Our IV therapy Toronto clinic is accepting new patients for intravenous therapy and functional medicine treatments. Click here to request your initial consultation with our wellness team.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.
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Curhan, Gary C., et al. “A prospective study of dietary calcium and other nutrients and the risk of symptomatic kidney stones.” New England journal of medicine 328.12 (1993): 833-838.
Ferraro PM, Bargagli M, Trinchieri A, Gambaro G. Risk of Kidney Stones: Influence of Dietary Factors, Dietary Patterns, and Vegetarian-Vegan Diets. Nutrients. 2020 Mar 15;12(3):779. doi: 10.3390/nu12030779. PMID: 32183500; PMCID: PMC7146511.
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Kong SH, Kim JH, Hong AR, Lee JH, Kim SW, Shin CS. Dietary potassium intake is beneficial to bone health in a low calcium intake population: the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) (2008-2011). Osteoporos Int. 2017 May;28(5):1577-1585. doi: 10.1007/s00198-017-3908-4. Epub 2017 Jan 16. PMID: 28093633.
“Potassium” from the Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, Reviewed in April 2019 by Connie Weaver, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor and Department Head, Department of Nutrition Science Purdue University, viewed on January 20, 2023.
“Potassium”, The Nutrition Source, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, viewed on January 19, 2023.
“Symptoms of Low Potassium (Hypokalemia)” from Healthline, By Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD, CPT and Ryan Raman, MS, RD — Medically reviewed by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD, Nutrition — Updated on Jan 25, 2022, viewed on January 20, 2023.
“The importance of potassium” from Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, posted July 18, 2019, viewed on January 19, 2023.
Veltri KT, Mason C. Medication-induced hypokalemia. P T. 2015 Mar;40(3):185-90. PMID: 25798039; PMCID: PMC4357351.
“What Does Potassium Do for Your Body? A Detailed Review” from Healthine, by Ryan Raman, MS, RD on September 9, 2017, viewed on January 19, 2023.