Potassium

Potassium is the major cation in the intracellular fluid. Daily dietary intake ranges from 40-120 mmol. The serum level ranges between 3.5 and 5 mmol/l. The total body potassium is around 3500 mmol in a 70 kg adult, representing around 50 mmol/kg.

Ninety-eight percent of the total body potassium is intracellular. Cellular uptake is achieved by stimulation of the cell membrane Na+/K+-ATPase. Ninety per cent of the daily load is excreted by the kidneys; the remainder by the gastrointestinal tract. Renal excretion depends on renal blood flow, sodium delivery to the distal tubule, urine output, aldosterone, antidiuretic hormone, and acid-base balance.

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