Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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The major intracellular cation in the body is potassium, which is maintained at a concentration of approximately 145mmoll-1 of intracellular fluid but at much lower concentrations in the plasma and interstitial fluid (3.8-5mmoll-1 of extracellular fluid). The high intracellular concentration of potassium is maintained via the activity of the Na+/K+ ATPase pump. Because this enzyme is stimulated by insulin, alterations in the plasma concentration of insulin can affect cellular influx of potassium and thus plasma concentration of potassium. Relatively small changes in the concentration of extracellular potassium greatly affect the extracellular/intracellular potassium ratio and thereby affect nerve transmission, muscle contraction, and vascular tone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Human Nutrition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9780123848857
ISBN (Print)9780123750839
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Dietary sources of potassium
  • Excess potassium
  • Extracellular potassium
  • Insufficient potassium
  • Insulin
  • Intracellular potassium
  • Muscle contraction
  • Nerve transmission
  • Potassium intake
  • Vascular tone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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