Are you struggling with thyroid issues?
Cold hands and feet?
Blood sugar imbalances?
Maybe adrenal issues?
Irregular heart beat?
I can go on if you want if you're still saying yes.
All of these symptoms are signs of a potassium deficiency and most people aren't even getting half of the amount they need in a day. On average, adults need approximately 400mg of potassium a day, and many are simply grazing over that 2000mg mark thinking it's sufficient. Little news flash, that RDI of potassium ranging from 2600mg for women and 3400mg for men is way too low. In fact, the RDI is simply a measurement of how much you need of a specific nutrient to simply keep you alive, but is not considered optimal levels.
So do you want to be alive or optimized? Most people would say optimized.
Now I know what you're going to say here. "Well okay, if I need more potassium, then maybe I just need to eat more" which is a decent thought process, yes, you probably do need to eat more potassium, but then the next question will be "will I actually retain it?" or "are my potassium levels low because something is pushing them down?"
Nutrients, specifically minerals, are heavily influenced by other nutrients, including vitamins. Nothing in the body works independently, everything is synergistic to one another and can have a direct influence to something else. It's like baking- which we all know is like a science. You can have every ingredient, like the eggs, flour, butter, sugar, but the measurements have to be so specific to the recipe, or the entire baking process will fail.
First, let's do a little recap on why potassium is so important. If you want to read a full blog post on potassium, check one out here. But in short, here are some major pointers to be aware on just how vital this mineral is:
- Helps sensitize cells to thyroid hormone
- Helps with the utilization of glucose
- Important for maintaining fluid balance in all tissues and cells
- Needed for maintaining cell permeability
- Important for nerve conduction
- Needed for adrenal health and the production of cortisol
- Required for regulating muscle contractions
Clearly if potassium becomes imbalanced we won't feel so hot.
Now the problem is, when most people run an HTMA test and they see that their potassium is imbalanced, their first instinct is to only supplement potassium. While that might be a great first step, because our Upgraded Potassium has a 99% absorption rate and you'll definitely get it into the cell, we would still need to make sure other parts of your supplement protocol aren't hindering your ability to absorb it or use it.
This is why we wanted to write today's blog because many people think that some nutrients don't have any influence on others. Unfortunately, they do, so just like baking, a supplement protocol is a science.
Calcium is an antagonistic mineral to potassium, meaning if one goes up, the other goes down. Calcium is a sedative type of mineral, but acts as a "cement" block when in excess around cells, where as potassium is a mineral influences the cells to be more permeable. If you're taking calcium supplements, make sure you aren't taking too much to hinder your potassium levels.
Copper indirectly affects potassium by elevating sodium, which is potassium's opposing opposite when it comes to the adrenals, kidneys and "vitality ratio" (Na:K ratio). Copper is antagonistic to zinc, and zinc is a potassium synergist, meaning zinc elevates potassium. Hence, if copper pushes up sodium and downregulates zinc, potassium will stay low.
3. Vitamin D
Again, vitamin D indirectly pushes down potassium, for it helps elevate calcium levels in the tissues. If calcium goes up, potassium will lower, and as mentioned above, this could hinder potassium maintenance or absorption.
4. B vitamins, specifically B1 and B12
Not alarm anyone, but sometimes taking some isolated B vitamins could affect potassium status, particularly if it's thiamine (B1) and methyl cobalamin (B12). This is because B vitamins stimulate sodium levels to increase, but these two are particularly synergistic to copper. B vitamins usually want to be taken in synergy, as in a complex form where all of them are present (like a B vitamin family), but it's best to always check with the provider you're working with what they think about your case.
If you're overwhelmed and unsure how to formulate a protocol by yourself, definitely order an HTMA with us here and book a consult with one of our nutritionists so you don't have to stress about it!
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach