Potassium vs Potassium Gluconate
Potassium is a vital element in our body. People take up potassium in their diet in different forms. Potassium is mainly found in salt forms.
Potassium, which is symbolized as K, is a group 1 element with the atomic number 19. It got the symbol K due to its Latin name Kalium. Potassium has properties of group 1 metal. Among those, the chemical properties of potassium are very similar to that of sodium. Its electron configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s1. It can release one electron, which is in 4s sub orbital, and produce a +1 cation. Since the first ionization energy of potassium is very low, it easily produces the +1 cation and gain the stabilized argon electron configuration. Electronegativity of potassium is very low, allowing it to form cations by donating an electron to a higher electronegative atom (like halogens). Therefore, potassium often makes ionic compounds. Potassium exists as a silvery white color solid, but it reacts very rapidly with oxygen when it is exposed to air, and thus makes an oxide coating in gray color. Potassium is soft enough to cut by a knife, and as soon as it cuts, the silvery color disappears due to the oxide layer formation. Density of potassium is lower than that of water, so it floats in water while vigorously reacting. When potassium burns in the air it gives a lilac color flame. Potassium is an essential element in living systems to maintain osmotic balance, for nerve impulse transmission and so on. Further potassium is important for maintaining blood pressure; regulating heart beat and body pH. Potassium is one of the essential elements for plants too. Potassium is also used to synthesize various other chemicals and organic compounds.
The potassium salt of gluconic acid is known as potassium gluconate. The carboxylic acid group of the gluconic acid reacts with potassium to produce this salt. It has the following structure.
Since potassium is an essential element to our bodies, the potassium supply should be maintained. Changes in the potassium levels can cause many diseases to humans. Potassium gluconate is a form of supplying potassium into our bodies. Since potassium ions are loosely bound to the molecules, it is easily delivered to cells. Moreover, it is highly soluble in water and, therefore, easily absorbed into the body. Potassium gluconate is given as a dietary supplement, and it comes as tablets and in liquid form. Although rarely reported, potassium gluconate can cause serious side effects such as stomach pain, chest or throat pain, etc. When taking potassium gluconate, there are several limitations. For example, people with kidney failure, a urinary tract infection, uncontrolled diabetes, peptic ulcer in the stomach, Addison’s disease, severe burns or other tissue injury should not take this.
What is the difference between Potassium and Potassium Gluconate?
• Potassium is an element and potassium gluconate is an organic salt of potassium.
• Potassium is in the cationic form in potassium gluconate.
• Potassium gluconate is a dietary supplement form of potassium.