Low Potassium Content Vegetables Research For Chronic Kidney Disease Patients in Japan
Potassium requirement is essential for normal function of the muscles, heart, and nerves in
human body. It plays an important role in the contraction or relaxation of skeletal, smooth,
and cardiac muscles, nerve impulse transmission, acid base equilibrium, enzymatic action,
intracellular fluid tonicity, and renal function.
It is one of the most important electrolytes in the human body whose excess
or deficiency may cause impairment of the body function
and even result in death.
It is also main electrolyte in the intracellular compartment, which
accumulates more than 98% of total body potassium. The serum concentration of potassium is
usually 3.5 to 5.0 mEq/L, while intracellular concentration is 115 to 150 mEq/L.
Increase or decrease in these levels can negatively affect an individual’s health.
For example, high serum concentrations have adverse effect on heart muscle and may
cause cardiac arrhythmias. Two, three times elevation of normal serum potassium level may
result in cardiac arrest, which can be detected through the electrocardiogram.
The kidneys normally excrete more than 90% of daily body potassium but patients
with CKD can’t completely excrete it, and thus, residual potassium accumulates in the body.
In a study it is reported that a normal kidney has the capacity to excrete over 400 mmol potassium
day1,4 and it is unlikely that an individual will become chronically hyperkalemic without some
degree of chronic renal impairment.
Nephrol Open J. 2016; 2(1): 1-8. doi: 10.17140/NPOJ-2-111