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Potassium is a vital mineral in the human body, used to help muscles and nerves function properly. Potassium is also utilized by the body to help store sugar in the form of glycogen. Potassium works with sodium and chloride to control the levels of water in the body. Research has shown that potassium can also help lower the risk of high blood pressure.

Food sources
Good sources of potassium include potatoes, whole grains, red meat and dietary products. Spinach, tomatoes, bananas and avocados also contain high levels of potassium.

Daily requirement
There is currently no European Commission set daily requirement for the mineral potassium. The UK and the US recommended daily allowance (RDA) for potassium is 3500mg for both men and women.

Deficiency
A deficiency in potassium is rare, particularly in a developed country such as the UK. Most cases occur where excess vomiting or diarrhea or a body imbalance causes the loss of potassium already in the body.

Symptoms of potassium deficiency include tiredness, constipation and muscle weakness. Impaired kidney function and heart problems can occur in some cases.

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