Potassium

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 68
  • Published : April 24, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
|

2/26/2013|

|

Potassium is a chemical element with the symbol K and has 19 electrons. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes quickly in air and is very reactive with water. Potassium ions are essential for the function of all living cells. Potassium ion diffusion is a key component in nerve transmission, and potassium weakening in animals, including humans, results in cardiac dysfunctions. Potassium collects in plant cells, therefore fresh fruits and vegetables are good dietary sources of it.

Potassium is never found free in nature, but is obtained by electrolysis of the chloride or hydroxide. It is one of the most reactive and electropositive of the metals and is the least dense known metal. Potassium salts such as carnallite, langbeinite, polyhalite, and sylvite form large deposits in ancient lakes and sea beds, allowing the extraction of potassium salts in these environments to be commercially feasible. Potassium is an incredibly significant body mineral and is important to both cellular and electrical function. It is one of the main blood minerals called “electrolytes”. This means that it potentially carries a tiny electrical charge. Potassium is the primary positive ion found within cells, where 98% of the 120 grams of potassium contained in the body is found. The blood serum is the component that is neither a blood cell nor a clotting factor but the blood plasma with the fibrinogens removed. The serum includes all proteins not used in blood clotting. The blood serum contains about 4-5 mg of the total potassium; the red blood cells contain 420 mg. this is why a red-blood-cell level is a better sign of an individual’s potassium status than the most often used serum level. Magnesium helps to uphold the potassium in the cells, but the sodium and potassium balance is as precise as those of calcium and phosphorus. Researchers have found that a high-sodium diet with low potassium intake can...
tracking img