What are the daily values for Potassium?

Potassium is an essential nutrient and is involved in almost all bodily functions, including kidney and heart functioning, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission.

Potassium is found in many foods such as meats, bananas, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, lentils, soybeans, nuts, and milk.

What are the daily values for Potassium?

In the US,  the daily value for potassium is defined as 4700mg for adults and 5100mg for pregnant and breastfeeding women. No upper value is available for potassium due to insufficient data. (FDA,2020) (NIH, 2020)

What happens in Deficiency?

In the U.S., people get potassium less than daily values. Getting too little potassium may cause increase blood pressure and may increase the risk of kidney stones. (NIH, 2020)

Severe potassium deficiency causes low potassium levels in the blood, and it is called hypokalemia. Hypokalemia may cause constipation, tiredness, muscle weakness, increased urination, decreased brain function, high blood sugar levels, muscle paralysis, difficulty breathing, and irregular heartbeat. Dependent on the level, it could be life-threatening. (NIH, 2020)

What happens in Overdose?

Potassium from food is considered safe for healthy people, and excess potassium is excreted from the body. When taken too much from supplements, high intakes of potassium may cause side effects. (NIH, 2020)

The body can’t eliminate all the excess potassium, which causes hyperkalemia, a condition where there are high potassium levels in their blood. Hyperkalemia can be asymptomatic. However, severe cases may cause muscle weakness, paralysis, heart palpitations, and cardiac arrhythmias, which could be life-threatening. (NIH, 2020)

People with medical conditions such as people with kidney diseases, diabetes, congestive heart failure, liver disease, or adrenal insufficiency may also develop hyperkalemia even from foods since their bodies couldn’t eliminate the excess potassium efficiently. (NIH, 2020)


* National Institutes of Health (SCF), 2020, Potassium, Accessed from: https: //ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/potassium/, Accessed at: 21.07.20
* U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), 2020, Nutrition labeling of food, Accessed from: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=101.9, Accessed at: 11.02.21
* European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), 2016, Dietary reference values for potassium

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