History of Ingredient

Potassium, an essential mineral, has been recognised for its vital role in human health for centuries. Historically, potassium was first isolated from potash, the ashes of plants, from which its name is derived.

Ancient civilisations, unaware of potassium’s chemical existence, utilised potash and other potassium-rich compounds for various purposes, including soap-making and as a remedy for certain ailments. It wasn’t until the 19th century that Sir Humphry Davy, a British chemist, successfully isolated potassium from caustic potash.

Scientific Make-up

Potassium is an alkali metal, denoted by the symbol ‘K’ on the periodic table. It is an electrolyte, meaning it conducts electricity when dissolved in water.

In the human body, potassium ions (K+) play a crucial role in maintaining cellular function, nerve transmission, and muscle contractions. The balance between potassium and other electrolytes, such as sodium, is vital for optimal physiological function.

potassium infographic

 

Benefits of Ingredient

Potassium offers a plethora of health benefits. It is essential for:

1. Heart Health: Potassium helps regulate blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium. Studies have shown that higher potassium intake is associated with a reduced risk of stroke.

2. Muscle and Nerve Function: It aids in muscle contraction and nerve cell communication.

3. Bone Health: Alongside calcium, potassium helps in maintaining bone density.

4. Fluid Balance: It helps maintain the right balance of fluids in cells, tissues, and organs.

5. Digestion and Metabolism: Potassium aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins.

Moreover, potassium works synergistically with other minerals like magnesium to enhance muscle relaxation and energy production.

 

Forms of Consumption

Potassium can be consumed in various forms:

1. Dietary Sources: Foods rich in potassium include bananas, oranges, spinach, and beans. However, modern diets often lack sufficient potassium, leading many to seek supplements.

2. Tablets and Capsules: These are the most common forms of potassium supplements. They offer a concentrated dose and are convenient for those tracking their intake.

3. Powders: Potassium powders can be mixed with water or added to smoothies. They offer flexibility in dosing.

4. Liquid Solutions: Often used in clinical settings, these ensure rapid absorption.

 

Safety + Dosages

While potassium is vital, excessive intake can be harmful. The recommended daily intake varies by age and gender, but for adults, it’s generally around 2,500-3,000 mg.

Overconsumption can lead to hyperkalemia, a condition characterised by muscle weakness and heart arrhythmias. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplementation.

 

Use and Legality in UK, EU, US and Globally

In the UK and EU, potassium supplements are legal and widely available. However, over-the-counter supplements have a maximum limit of 99mg potassium to prevent overdose. Higher doses are available on prescription.

In the US, potassium supplements are also legal, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set guidelines on maximum dosages in over-the-counter products.

If you’re looking to introduce a potassium-based supplement or any other formulation to the market, Supplement Factory stands ready to assist, ensuring top-notch quality and compliance with global standards. Contact us to learn more.