role of sodium and potassium in human body pdf

Role of sodium and potassium in human body pdf

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U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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The body uses sodium to control blood pressure and blood volume. Your body also needs sodium for your muscles and nerves to work properly. Sodium occurs naturally in most foods.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The body uses sodium to control blood pressure and blood volume. Your body also needs sodium for your muscles and nerves to work properly.

Sodium occurs naturally in most foods. The most common form of sodium is sodium chloride, which is table salt. Milk, beets, and celery also naturally contain sodium. Drinking water also contains sodium, but the amount depends on the source. Sodium is also added to many food products. Some of these added forms are monosodium glutamate MSG , sodium nitrite, sodium saccharin, baking soda sodium bicarbonate , and sodium benzoate.

These are in items such as Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, onion salt, garlic salt, and bouillon cubes. Processed meats like bacon, sausage, and ham, along with canned soups and vegetables also contain added sodium. Processed baked goods such as packaged cookies, snack cakes, and doughnuts, are also often high in sodium. Fast foods are generally very high in sodium.

Sodium in the diet called dietary sodium is measured in milligrams mg. One teaspoon 5 milliliters of table salt contains 2, mg of sodium. Healthy adults should limit sodium intake to 2, mg per day. Adults with high blood pressure should have no more than 1, mg per day. Those with congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, and kidney disease may need much lower amounts. There are no specific sodium restrictions for infants, children, and teens.

However, certain levels of daily adequate intake for healthy growth have been established. These include:. Eating habits and attitudes about food that are formed during childhood are likely to influence eating habits for life. For this reason, it is a good idea for children to avoid consuming too much sodium. Diet - sodium salt ; Hyponatremia - sodium in diet; Hypernatremia - sodium in diet; Heart failure - sodium in diet. Appel LJ. Diet and blood pressure.

Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; chap PMID: pubmed. Mozaffarian D. Nutrition and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine website. Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium. Accessed June 30, Editorial team. Sodium in diet. Sodium is an element that the body needs to work properly. Salt contains sodium. Too much sodium in the diet may lead to: High blood pressure in some people A serious buildup of fluid in people with heart failure , cirrhosis of the liver, or kidney disease.

These include: Infants younger than 6 months: mg Infants age 6 to 12 months: mg Children ages 1 to 3 years: 1, mg Children ages 4 to 8 years: 1, mg Children and teens ages 9 to 18 years: 1, mg Eating habits and attitudes about food that are formed during childhood are likely to influence eating habits for life.

Alternative Names. Sodium content. Sodium Read more. Health Topics A-Z Read more.

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Potassium is one of the main blood minerals, or electrolytes, essential to both cellular and electrical function. Along with sodium, potassium regulates the water balance and the acid-base balance in the blood and tissues, and plays a critical role in the transmission of electrical impulses in the heart. The active transport of potassium into and out of the cells is crucial to cardiovascular and nerve function. When potassium enters the cell, it instigates a sodium-potassium exchange across the cell membrane. In the nerve cells, this generates the electrical potential that allows the conduction of nerve impulses. When potassium leaves the cell, it restores repolarization to the cell, which allows the nerve impulse to progress.

Potassium is the main intracellular ion for all types of cells , while having a major role in maintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance. It is found in especially high concentrations within plant cells, and in a mixed diet, it is most highly concentrated in fruits. The high concentration of potassium in plants, associated with comparatively very low amounts of sodium there, historically resulted in potassium first being isolated from the ashes of plants potash , which in turn gave the element its modern name. The functions of potassium and sodium in living organisms are quite different. Animals, in particular, employ sodium and potassium differentially to generate electrical potentials in animal cells, especially in nervous tissue. Potassium depletion in animals, including humans, results in various neurological dysfunctions.

Potassium is an essential mineral that is needed by all tissues in the body. It is sometimes referred to as an electrolyte because it carries a small electrical charge that activates various cell and nerve functions. Potassium is found naturally in many foods and as a supplement. Its main role in the body is to help maintain normal levels of fluid inside our cells. Sodium , its counterpart, maintains normal fluid levels outside of cells. Potassium also helps muscles to contract and supports normal blood pressure.


mEq per day. Potassium is essential for the proper function of all cells​, tissues, and organs in. the human body. It is also crucial to.


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Potassium and sodium are electrolytes needed for the body to function normally and help maintain fluid and blood volume in the body. However, a person can get high blood pressure by consuming too much sodium and not enough potassium. Vegetables and fruits, such as potatoes, tomatoes, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, beans, and bananas; dairy products, such as yogurt; and seafood, such as salmon and clams, are good sources of potassium.

People w ith compromised kidney function must adhere to a renal or kidney diet to cut down on the amount of waste in their blood. Wastes in the blood come from food and liquids that are consumed. When kidney function is compromised, the kidneys not filter or remove waste properly. Following a kidney diet may also help promote kidney function and slow the progression of complete kidney failure.

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