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Potassium vs Potassium Chloride

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Old 12-03-2013, 03:57 PM   #1
bob321
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Default Potassium vs Potassium Chloride

Woud someone tell me if there is a difference between "Potassium" and "Potassium Chloride?" Or are they one in the same when mentioned in an article? I've read some articles that mention "potassium," and others that mention "potassium chloride."

Some say "most of the potassium chloride you see in your daily life occurs naturally in foods." Is that true? And - "Potassium (are they talking about Potassium Chloride) is an essential nutrient we get from the food we eat. It typically comes in the form of potassium chloride." Is that true? Are they referring to "potassium" or "potassium chloride?" Or as I asked, are they one in the same?

Nu-Salt (Salt Substitute) says: "Ingredients": "Potassium Chloride." And the "Nutrition Facts" say: "Potassium 530mg." Are they both referring to the same thing? Why do they mention "Potassium Chloride" and then mention just "Potassium?" Are they talking about the same thing when they say "Potassium" and "Potassium Chloride?

Hope I have not made this too complicated.
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:52 PM   #2
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Minerals that are used by the body, cannot be absorbed in their metallic form. (they are usually toxic that way or burn the stomach).

So they are combined into an ionic form that dissolves in water in the stomach contents and then can be absorbed.

Sodium chloride is table salt...this is a good example. Sodium in metallic form explodes in the air..and is demonstrated in school experiments often.

Chloride, sulfate, oxide, bicarbonate, are common carriers therefore you see on labels on supplements. Even some complex combinations using amino acids called chelates. These are sometimes called "salts" meaning mixtures like table salt is.

So potassium chloride is the most common form we see.
The value of the weight of the combination is often quoted. But only the elemental content is really used by the body. (the potassium in potassium chloride would be less that the total weight stated). Many supplements today are including elemental values and state as such...but many still do not and it is misleading to the public who don't understand this distinction.

This is one explanation on the web:
http://www.chiroweb.com/archives/16/25/18.html

If you go to a nutritional site for food contents... the potassium listed there is only the elemental content of any salt present:

This link:
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...roducts/2461/2
For a serving of kale shows mineral content as elemental.

I would not use a potassium source without first getting tested at your doctor's. Using too much potassium can be dangerous if you also are on certain drugs, or have some kidney problem that conserves potassium. Potassium is plentiful in food. You can get all you need from food. The link above will illustrate content for you to see what you are eating. Pay attention to serving size.
For example....one can of V8 has over 800mg of potassium in it.
And Gatorade is a very poor source at 35mg/serving.
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:09 PM   #3
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I've been using a few sprinkels of Nu-Salt (salt substitute) for years in place of table salt because my eye doctor said to cut down on sodium. I just asked my question because, as I mentioned, I saw that the NuSalt "Ingredients" mention "Potassium Chloride," but the "Nutrition Facts" say just "Potassium 530mg." I just wanted to know if they were both the same thing?
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:24 PM   #4
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If you take ACE inhibitors for blood pressure, Dyazide or Maxzide diuretic, spironolactone, you cannot safely use Salt substitutes.

Certain forms of kidney disease also raise potassium.
As long as you keep your NuSalt to a minimum, and have normal kidney functions, and do not use those drugs daily... your body may handle the extra potassium okay. The danger is that supplements are concentrated and enter the blood quickly and it takes time for the body to lower it if it is too high.

The body excretes potassium into the colon from the bloodstream when the levels are too high and it is then reabsorbed slowly as needed or lost in the stool. Potassium from FOOD is slowly absorbed by contrast into the blood, and less likely to cause damage. The fastest damage is to the heart...and a flood of potassium may affect your heart beat. Potassium injections are used to kill people (potassium chloride)...in prisons, and during euthansia. So you need to be careful with that NuSalt... a very light dusting can be more than what the label says easily.

I learned to eat lower salt over 30 yrs ago... when I was pregnant. I still do not salt any of my food, and I avoid salted snacks.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:29 PM   #5
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Pardon me for being so stupid and uneducated in this field.

But I am just trying to find out what the difference is between the NuSalt mentioning on the back of the container: "Potassium Chloride," in the "Ingredients" and the "Potassium 530mg" mentioned in the "Nutrition Facts?"

#1- Is the "Potassium Chloride" (mentioned in the Ingredients) the same as the "Potassium 530mg" (mentioned in the Nutrition Fact)?

I am just confused between the two names = "Potassium Chloride" and "Potassium 530mg."
Is the Potassium 530mg contained in the Potassium Chloride?

#2- Why two difference names?

Is the Potassium Chloride in food or is the Potassium in food?
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:16 PM   #6
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I suggest you discuss this with your doctor further.

An eye doctor is typically not familiar with
your general health status.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:24 AM   #7
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Default Bob--

--probably been a long time since your last chemistry class.

The difference, as Mrs. D point out, is that the potassium chloride designation is the compound that contains the elemental potassium. We cannot ingest alkali metals in elemental form--most are not even stable in that form (as the chemistry experiment scenario suggests), so that in order for us to get these into our bodies, we need to take them in a much more stable form in which they are part of a chemical compound. Our bodies can then break down that compound through digestion and use the metal nutrient, though in most cases our body complexes the nutrient into other organic (carbon-containing) compounds for use.

From what you're saying it sounds like that the potassium is contained in potassium chloride, but the ELEMENTAL value of potassium in a single does of that chloride is 530mg. That is the "nutritive" value you would get from potassium in a "dose" (the container likely lists per tablet or per two tablets) of this particular potassium chloride. The dose that gives you this 530mg of potassium is certainly overall heavier than that--not only is chloride in it but I'm sure there are other things, such as fillers and buffers, in it as well, in order to make it digestible.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:57 AM   #8
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Notice the warning on the label of NuSalt:

http://www.nusalt.com/nutritionfacts_canisters.html

Quote:
For normal healthy people. Persons having diabetes, heart or kidney disease, or receiving medical treatment should consult a physician before using a salt alternative or substitute.
If you look closely at the label it states ONE GRAM contains 530mg of potassium. That means rest of the one gram contains other stuff, including the chloride. One gram is a tiny amount.


Here is another warning, this on Amazon reviews:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R3O2XBU...wasThisHelpful

Basically salt substitutes can be risky. When you shake it out of the container you are not really measuring anything...so therefore you may get more than you think you are. So it is always best to consult your doctor about the safety for your situation in using a product like this.
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:31 PM   #9
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Default FWIW... some common metric weights

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsD View Post
One gram is a tiny amount.
From the (mostly) useless trivia rattling around in Doc's head since childhood:

A small (~1ž" - ~1⅜") paperclip weighs ~1 gram (range: 0.6 - 1.4 grams; average: 0.9 grams).
A restaurant packet of sweetener weighs ~2 grams.
A restaurant packet of sugar weighs ~3 grams (Domino'sŪ weigh 3.54 grams; McDonald'sŪ weigh ~4 grams)*.
A penny (U.S.) weighs 2.500 grams (when minted)
A nickel (U.S.) weighs 5.000 grams (when minted)

*They've been upsized since I was a kid.

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Old 03-08-2014, 12:17 PM   #10
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A doctor friend of mine says she sees a lot of problems from people who are advised to cut down on salt, and go for salt substitute, so that instead of having too much sodium, they now have too much potassium.

MrsD, any opinion about using a mixture of salt and low-sodium salt (sodium and potassium) in homemade electrolyte drinks? My cardiologist has told me to drink 3l of water every day and get a lot of salt, but he wasn't interested in going into details. Most commercial electrolyte drinks contain a bit of potassium.
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