Dipotassium phosphate (DKP) is a water-soluble salt and a food additive that is a combination of phosphorus and phosphate. It is commonly used as a food additive, fertilizer, and buffering agent.
This inorganic compound is available as a white powder and is made by chemical synthesis. It has the chemical formula of K2HPO4. It is a common source of potassium and phosphorus.
It is food grade hygroscopic that prevents huge fluctuation in acidity and alkalinity and stabilizes pH.
Widely used as a food preservative, it can be found in foods like:
- cured meats;
- salt substitutes and other seasonings;
- fruit juices;
- processed cheeses;
- alcoholic beverages;
- breakfast cereals;
- condensed milk;
- chocolate products;
- chewing gum;
- canned and dried vegetables;
- ham and baked goods;
- canned fish;
- soft drinks.
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DKP is found in multivitamins and mineral supplements in different forms so as to accommodate the recommended daily intake of potassium and phosphorus.
In addition, it is used to prevent the formation of calcium stones in the urinary tract as well as to make the urine more acidic, which helps treat certain UTIs.
Note – do not take DKP supplements without first checking with your healthcare provider to make sure it would be safe for you.
Phosphate (the biological form of phosphorus) is a mineral that is bonded to calcium and included in the mineral matrix, which gives bones their strength. It is also used for the growth and repair of tissues and cells and is contained in all body cells.
Actually, this mineral is thought to be the 2nd-most important element when it comes to maintaining bone integrity and health, behind calcium, and the 2nd-most profuse mineral in the body.
Moreover, phosphorus helps the body make adenosine triphosphate, a molecule the body uses to store energy. In addition, it plays an essential role in how the body uses fats and carbohydrates.
Deficiency is unusual. However, when it occurs, the following symptoms can be observed:
- weight changes;
- loss of appetite;
- fatigue or muscle weakness;
- increased susceptibility to infection;
- difficulty walking;
- numbness and tingling in the extremities;
- osteomalacia, a weakening of the bones that can lead to deformities in the spine and limbs;
- impaired bone mineralization that causes rickets in children;
- poor bone formation and growth.
This mineral is involved in the cellular and electrical functions within the body’s organs and tissues and plays an essential role in metabolism.
Potassium is classified as an electrolyte, which actually means that it transports an electric charge in the human body.
Deficiency symptoms of potassium include:
- lack of energy;
- muscle cramps;
- muscle weakness.
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Side Effects of Dipotassium Phosphate
Common side effects of this food additive include:
- numbness or tingling in the arms or legs;
- slow or unusual heart rate;
- loss of movement in any part of the body;
- overactive reflexes;
- muscle tightness or contraction;
- a light-headed feeling like you might pass out;
- fast or slow heart rate;
- tingly feeling around the mouth.
The kidneys excrete phosphate. Hence, the most frequent cause of increased phosphate levels is the kidney’s incapacity to get rid of phosphate.
Increased phosphate levels have been identified as a strong predictor of mortality in advanced CKD.
According to Jaime Uribarri, a professor of nephrology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York – “We have known for a couple of decades now that people with CKD tend to retain phosphorus, which leads to worse kidney function and cardiovascular disease.”
The condition is also seen in people who have:
- problems with the thyroid, parathyroid gland, or other hormones;
- prolonged exercise;
- respiratory acidosis, a condition which occurs when the lungs can’t remove enough of CO2 produced by the body;
- cell destruction due to chemotherapy;
- severe infections;
- too much vitamin D;
- a deficiency in calcium or magnesium.
When you have excessive amounts of phosphorus circulating in the blood, it can combine with calcium and cause tissue in the muscles and organs to calcify.
Calcifications can form in many places throughout the body, including:
- small and large arteries;
- heart valves;
- soft tissues, such as breasts;
- tendons and joints, like – rotator cuff tendons and knee joints;
- brain, where it is known as cranial calcification.
According to a 2007 study that was issued in the “Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition,” consuming too much phosphorus can interfere with the balance of calcium and phosphorus in the body.
Other symptoms of hyperphosphatemia include:
- cataract (a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye);
- shortness of breath;
- seizures and convulsions;
- confusion and delirium;
- paresthesia (an abnormal sensation like – tickling, pricking, tingling, numbness of a person’s skin);
- neuromuscular hyperexcitability;
- altered mental status;
- bone and joint issues;
- disturbed sleep;
Excess potassium is normally excreted by the kidneys. Any damage to the kidneys may cause an increase in potassium levels. This buildup can also be due to:
- taking potassium supplements;
- severe bleeding from the intestines or stomach;
- disorders which cause blood cells to burst;
- damage to muscle and other cells from alcohol abuse and certain street drugs;
- some medications, like – angiotensin receptor blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors;
- burns over large areas of the body;
- Addison disease (a long-term endocrine disorder).
Moderate hyperkalemia is medically described as serum potassium (the amount of potassium in your blood) values in the 5.0 to 6.0 mEq/liter range. Significant hyperkalemia is defined as a serum potassium value >6.0 mEq/liter.
Common symptoms of hyperkalemia include:
- heart palpitations;
- chest pain;
- diarrhea (with very high potassium levels);
- muscle weakness.
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