In the human body, potassium is an electrolyte that is essential for the proper functioning of all cells, tissues and organs. In addition to its role in treating potassium deficiency, potassium chloride may also be helpful in preventing or treating other ailments. So, check out all about Potassium Chloride: What is it for? How to Use and Benefits:
What is Potassium Chloride:
It is a metal halide salt composed of potassium and chlorine. Potassium Chloride is odorless and has a white or colorless vitreous crystal appearance. The solid readily dissolves in water and its solutions have a salt-like taste. It is used as a fertilizer, in medicine, in scientific applications, and in food processing.
Benefits of Potassium Chloride:
The main benefits of Potassium Chloride include:
Helps to lower blood pressure:
Supplementing with potassium chloride appears to have a blood pressure lowering effect, according to Lawrence J. Appel, MD, of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research at Johns Hopkins University.
In a review published in a 1999 issue of Clinical Cardiology, Dr. Appel reported that supplementation with a moderate daily dose of potassium chloride reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings in hypertensive patients by 4.4 and 2.5 millimeters of mercury, respectively.
The reduction was even more pronounced in patients whose diets were abnormally high in salt intake.
Helps prevent stroke:
A team of researchers at Harvard Medical School and its Boston teaching affiliate, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, conducted a study to see what, if any, connections exist between potassium intake and stroke risk. Their large-scale study followed 43,738 men between the ages of 40 and 75, who had no diagnostic history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
The researchers found that men who ate a high- potassium diet experienced a lower incidence of stroke than those whose potassium intake was lower or even deficient.
Supplementing with potassium chloride has also been found to be helpful in preventing stroke, particularly among patients taking diuretics, which tend to flush potassium and other minerals from the body. Researchers published their findings in a 1998 issue of “Circulation,” a journal of the American Heart Association.
How to Use Potassium Chloride:
The main ways to use Potassium Chloride are:
Most produced is used to make fertilizer, called potassium , since the growth of many plants is limited by the availability of potassium . The two main types of potash are: miacio of potash (MOP, potassium chloride ) and sulfate of potash (SOP, sulfate of potassium ).
While SOP typically sells at a premium to MOP, the vast majority of potash fertilizers in the world are sold as MOP.
Potassium is vital in the human body, by mouth it is the common way to treat low blood potassium , although it can also be given intravenously. It can be used as a salt substitute for food, but because of its weak, bitter, and unsalted taste, it is often mixed with common table salt (sodium chloride) to improve flavor.
The addition of 1 ppm of thaumatin considerably reduces this bitterness. Complaints of bitterness or a chemical or metallic taste are also reported with potassium chloride used in foods.
As a chemical raw material, it is used in the manufacture of potassium and potassium hydroxide . It is also used in medicine, lethal injections, scientific applications, food processing, soaps, and as a sodium-free substitute for table salt for people concerned about the health effects of sodium.
It is used as a supplement in animal feed to increase the amount of nutrients in the feed, which in turn promotes healthy growth in animals. As an added benefit, it is known to increase milk production.
It is sometimes used in water as a completion fluid in oil and natural gas operations, as well as being an alternative to sodium chloride in domestic water softening units. Glass makers use granulated potassium as a flux, lowering the temperature at which a mixture melts.
Because potash imparts excellent clarity to glass, it is commonly used in eyeglasses, glass, televisions, and computer monitors. Potassium Chloride is useful as a beta radiation source for the calibration of radiation monitoring equipment, because natural potassium contains 0.0118% of the 40K isotope.
What is the Dosage for Potassium Chloride:
The usual recommendation for treating hypokalemia in adults is 20 to 40 mEq 2 to 4 times a day. The dose for prevention is 20 mEq per day. Oral potassium is usually taken with meals and liquids to prevent bowel problems. Controlled-release tablets should be swallowed whole.
It is safe to take if you are pregnant or breastfeeding:
Potassium Chloride Side Effects:
The main side effects include:
Common Potassium Chloride side effects:
You should tell your doctor if any of the following side effects are serious or do not go away:
On occasion, an empty tablet or capsule may appear in your stool. This effect is harmless because your body has absorbed the medication.
Serious side effects of potassium chloride:
You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- Mental confusion;
- Tingling, tingling, burning, squeezing or pulling sensation in arms, hands, legs or feet;
- Stomach ache ;
- Also, lethargy;
- Heaviness or weakness of the legs;
- Also, cold, pale or gray skin;
- Unusual stomach bloating;
- Also, black stools.
Potassium Chloride Warnings:
Before taking Potassium Chloride , you should tell your doctor if you have had or have had:
- kidney disease ;
- heart disease ;
- Also, an adrenal problem such as Addison’s disease ;
- Throat problems;
- Also, stomach or bowel problems.
You should also tell your doctor what you are taking before surgery, including dental procedures. Additionally, there have been rare reports of stomach ulcers and bleeding with the sustained-release potassium products , so it is best to take the liquid form of the supplement.
Tell your doctor if you are using a salt substitute before taking it. Many of these contain potassium , so your doctor may change your dose. It is important to keep all medical and laboratory appointments while you are taking it. Also, your doctor may order some tests to check your body’s response to potassium .
Pregnancy and Potassium Chloride:
You should only use it during pregnancy when clearly needed because it is not known how the drug will affect the fetus. Also, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant before taking this supplement. As potassium can pass into breast milk, talk to your doctor before breast-feeding while taking Potassium Chloride .