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Potassium is the seventh most abundant element in the earth's crust and is therefore found in almost all animal-based and plant-based foods. The main sources for humans are plant-based foods such as vegetables and fruit, potatoes, rice and pasta, as well as bread and cereal products. Beverages such as fruit juices, milk, alcoholic beverages, coffee and tea also contribute to the potassium supply.

Potassium is vital for growth and to sustain life. In the human body, most of the potassium (98 %) is found inside the cells. Muscle cells in particular contain a lot of potassium.

Potassium is needed, among other things, for the transmission of nerve impulses and the regulation of cell growth; it contributes to the maintenance of normal blood pressure and is involved in the release of hormones as well as in carbohydrate utilisation and protein synthesis.

The data currently available for the Federal Republic of Germany do not indicate an insufficient supply of potassium in the population.

Potassium deficiency is rarely diet-related, but usually the result of disease. Excessive sodium intake can lead to potassium depletion. Conversely, potassium promotes sodium excretion. In this respect, a balanced ratio of sodium and potassium in the nutrition is important. Normally, the kidneys can excrete excess potassium. A potassium oversupply can therefore occur especially in the case of kidney diseases.

An excessive intake of potassium can lead to undesirable effects such as cardiac arrhythmias.

Proposed maximum level for the addition of potassium to food supplements (per daily dose of an individual product):

Höchstmenge Kalium

In order to provide consumers with significant additional nutrient intake via food supplements when needed and at the same time protect well-supplied people from excessive intake, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) recommends not adding more than 500 milligrams (mg) of potassium per daily dose to a food supplement.



Eine Initiative des BfR:

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