It then reverses position, releases the sodium ions and draws in two potassium ions. This is the action potential. However, a person can get high blood pressure by consuming too much sodium and not enough potassium. This change means that a slight loss of fluid and sodium, as can result from a fever or from not eating and drinking enough (sometimes for only a day or two), can have more serious consequences in older people. They communicate information to perform important tasks such as regulating your body temperature or flexing muscles. The resulting resting potential is what allows for rapid responses to requests from your brain. These nutrients are essential for the smooth-functioning of the kidneys. Eventually, the ions settle down and return to resting potential. a. Sodium and potassium are two important elements that play a vital role in the metabolic processes in the human body. The resting potential of a cell is the amount of energy available when a cell is at rest. It takes a little longer for potassium ions to move outside of your cells. diagnosis or treatment. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM However, consult your physician before starting any new regime. In "Biological Psychology," James W. Kalat writes that the result of this process is that sodium ions are more concentrated outside of your cell membranes while potassium ions are more concentrated inside cell membranes. Role of Sodium and Potassium in the Body The sodium-potassium pump is necessary for the creation of the chemical battery or electrical potential gradient, that helps the transmission of nerve signals as well as contraction of muscles. Well, we're looking for good writers who want to spread the word. Potassium, sodium and other electrolytes dissolve in water and help carry an electrical charge. Along with sodium, it regulates the water balance and the acid-base balance in the blood and tissues. Often, more emphasis is laid on the intake of either one of these. Collection of fluids may cause the cells to swell and burst due to pressure. Therefore, it will be healthy for us to take considerable amount of sodium every single day. Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of potassium. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. However, a person can get high blood pressure by consuming too much sodium and not enough potassium. This energy is used to remove acid from the body. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. Sodium and potassium are two essential elements that are needed to regulate blood pressure and play an active part in many bodily functions. Sodium ions move first because of the uneven concentration between sodium and potassium ions. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. LIVESTRONG.com may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Potassium and sodium are two of the most important ions in your nervous system. The Ketogenic Diet Is The Fat Burning Diet, Boost Your Immune System With the Right Diet. 1 Potassium is found in vegetables, fruit, seafood Neurons transmit that message. 2020 Protein Data Bank; Sodium-Potassium Pump; David Goodsell; October 2009, McKinley O'Loughlin Human Anatomy; Animation: How the Sodium Potassium Pump Works; 2006, PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse Only 45% of body weight is fluid in older people, compared with 60% in younger people. Different ions (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium etc) have different roles to play. Nerve impulse involves not only sodium, but also potassium. But, there is also a danger for consuming too much sodium, … 1 Potassium is found in vegetables, fruit, seafood, and dairy products. Potassium and sodium are electrolytes needed for the body to function normally and help maintain fluid and blood volume in the body. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. They help maintain the acid-base balance in the body. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. To overcome this, an increased potassium intake is recommended, as more the potassium levels in the body, more amount sodium is extracted out. Terms of Use It also helps regulate heartbeats. Sodium maintains a proper blood pressure. Writing for publication since 1995, Hornby has had articles featured in "Medical Care," "Preventive Medicine" and "Medical Decision Making.". A decrease in blood sodium concentration, also called hyponatremia, can cause seizures, while low potassium levels in the bloodstream, or hypokalemia, can lead to heart problems. Ions are electrically charged chemicals. The sodium-potassium pump is a vital enzyme found in all human cells which constantly maintains an optimal ion balance. Neurons use ions to communicate. A healthy body will balance the potassium levels in the body, however, excessive fluid loss by vomiting, diarrhea, etc., can cause the loss of potassium in the body. Less fluid in the body: In older people, the body contains less fluid. While we know that high salt intake increases blood pressure, high potassium levels lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels. Leaf Group Ltd. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Potassium and sodium ions act as power generators inside the cells of your body. Potassium and sodium are electrolytes needed for the body to function normally and help maintain fluid and blood volume in the body. When they do, the in and out flow of potassium and sodium ions creates polarization and reverse polarization. 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