The Bizarre Rda For Potassium & Potassium-Sodium Ratio

edited November 2015 in General Discussion

There's one mineral that seems really confusing, and that is that motherfucker Potassium.


First, why is the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) 4700mg? That's the highest of any mineral and vitamin. To get 4700, one should consume about 850 grams of dark green leavy vegetables like spinach a day. Well, I don't know about you, but I think that most people on a hardcore paleo diet even don't get that one done.


So you would guess, should someone supplement with Potassium? Well, that's also difficult, because Potassium supplements are regulated to a maximum of 99mg. One should wonder, because Potassium seems to be so overly important with this high RDA, why only regulated it's supplements to 99mg? Or is the 4700mg RDA a joke?


It's get even weirder, because the direct family member of Potassium is Sodium. Potassium and Sodium do not only have the same biological role in the human body (as electrolytes, Na+/K+-ATPase (sodium-potassium adenosine triphosphatase)), the human body also contain about the same amount of Potassium (about 140 grams) and Sodium (about 100 grams). But the RDA for Sodium is only 1200 to 1500mg.


The average American consumes about 3400mg of Sodium per day.

The average American consumes about 2350mg of Potassium per day.



- too much Sodium is only harmful if the Potassium intake is insuffient (is that where the whole "salt is bad" myth comes from? - salt is about 40% Sodium btw)

- ideally Potassium and Sodium needs to be in balance

- the RDA of Potassium is ridiculous, should be about the RDA of Sodium (my vague guess would be 1000 to 2000mg)

- One should supplement with Potassium, 500mg (or 495mg) minimum?


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