Potassium is an important mineral that contributes to good health and well-being. Potassium is found in high concentrates in fresh fruits and vegetables. The majority of potassium is intracellular and functions in relation to this location. Potassium maintains electrolyte and pH balance; influences the movement of smooth, skeletal and cardiac muscles; and plays a role in the synthesis of tissue and carbohydrates. Potassium is involved in nerve impulse transmission and a variety of enzyme reactions. Potassium works either alone or with other nutrients to support many physiological activities.
Due to an increased risk of hyperkalemia, potassium should not be combined with ace inhibitors (ACEIs), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), or potassium-sparing diuretics. People using vitamin B12 should also be cautious and measure their potassium serum levels in connection to hypokalamia.
The common side effects associated with potassium are gastrointestinal and can be minimized by taking the supplement with a meal. These side effects include nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, flatulence, and diarrhea. Large doses may cause hyperkalemia.