Potassium is needed to regulate blood pH, keep the water balance, ensure the acidification of the urine, and help nerve conduction and muscle contractions. Potassium is a very significant body mineral, important to both cellular and electrical function. It is one of the main blood minerals called "electrolytes" (the others are sodium and chloride), which means it carries a tiny electrical charge (potential). Potassium is the primary positive ion (cation) found within the cells, where 98 percent of the 120 grams of potassium contained in the body is found. Shortage brings nervous irritability, mental disorientation, fatigue, listlessness, insomnia, muscle weakness, irregular pulse, constipation, cramping of muscles, low blood sugar and coma. Potassium is very important in cellular biochemical reactions and energy metabolism; it participates in the synthesis of protein from amino acids in the cell. Potassium also functions in carbohydrate metabolism; it is active in glycogen and glucose metabolism, converting glucose to glycogen that can be stored in the liver for future energy. Potassium is important for normal growth and for building muscle.
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