Dietary reference values: advice on potassium
EFSA has set dietary reference values for potassium as part of its review of scientific advice on nutrient intakes. Potassium is an essential mineral in the human diet and plays an important role in many physiological processes in the human body including the distribution of body fluids, nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction.
The Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) defines daily adequate intakes (AIs) for potassium as follows:
- 750mg for infants aged 7-11 months.
- 800mg for children aged 1-3 years.
- 1,100mg for children aged 4-6.
- 1,800mg for children aged 7-10.
- 2,700mg for children aged 11-14.
- 3,500mg for adolescents aged 15-17.
- 3,500mg for adults including pregnant women.
- 4,000mg for lactating women.
Low potassium intakes are associated with raised blood pressure and increased risk of stroke. The Panel considered data on these relationships when setting DRVs.
Food sources of potassium include starchy roots or tubers, vegetables and fruit, whole grains, dairy products and coffee.
EFSA received comments and input on the draft scientific opinion during a six-week public consultation in mid-2016.