Organic Uses of Sodium and Potassium

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Importance of Sodium-Potassium

Do you know why your diet contains more potassium and sodium than iron and copper? It is because the content of potassium and sodium in humans is more so the focus goes to these elements. These compounds work as a power supply to the cell. They act as interacting mediums to transmit information such as blinking of an eye, flexing of muscle, and more. These neurotransmitters carry the instructions to the brain which gives the command to perform an activity. The required amount of potassium and sodium in humans should be 5 mmol-1 and 143 mmol-1 respectively. These ions are used by neurons to transmit important information. The percentage of the ions differs on both sides of the cell membrane. 

Function of Sodium and Potassium 

Sodium ions are basically found inside the human nerve cells. They are responsible for water regulation across the membrane. They are sugar and amino acid carriers and transport them directly to the cells. It helps in maintaining electrolyte balance in the human body. 

On the other hand, potassium ion is found inside the cell membrane and helps in maintaining the osmolarity level of the cell. They also control the basic functions of stomata like opening and closing. Potassium ions act as a cofactor for pyruvate kinase. It is also vital for healthy heart functioning and in the contraction of muscle and skeleton. 

Sodium-Potassium pump is a form of ATP that is found in the plasma membrane of animal cells.

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Organic Use of Sodium 

Sodium ions are found at the surface of cells in the interstitial fluids and blood plasma. It acts as a surrounding to the cell and generally transmits information to the brain. They also transport sugar and amino acids to the cell for proper functioning. 

Some Other Uses of Sodium

  • It is used in the manufacturing of dyes and dye subsidiaries 

  • Sodium is used in the polymerization of unsaturated hydrocarbons and purification of hydrocarbons

  • In various organic applications, it is used in the aspect of dispersion in hydrocarbon liquid media.

  • It is also used in synthesizing perfumes.

Organic Use of Potassium

Potassium ions are present in the cell fluid and are basically actions. It is responsible for the transmission of information and is used to activate the oxidation of sugar and enzymes.

Other Uses of Potassium

  • Potassium is extensively used in fertilizers.

  • Potassium salts are used in various fields like potassium carbonate is used in making glass, potassium hydroxide is used in manufacturing liquid-based soap and detergent.

  • Potassium is also used in saline drips and drugs. 

Solved Example

Q. Write the Biological Importance of Sodium?


  • Sodium ions are responsible for maintaining the electrolyte level in the human body.

  • They are the prime carriers of amino acids and sugar into the cell.

  • Sodium ions are found in the nerve cell and regulate the flow of water across the cell membrane 

Q. What are the Functions of Sodium in the Human Body?


  • Potassium helps in the functioning of the heart

  • It is also responsible for the skeleton and muscular contraction

  • It also retains the osmolarity of the cell

  • Low potassium level leads to hypertension

  • Potassium is vital to maintain electrolyte balance in the body.

Q. Which Human Organ System Depends on the Na-K Pump?


  • In the kidney, this pump helps to maintain sodium and potassium level 

  • It plays a key role in regulating blood sugar. 

  • It monitors cardiac contractions and prevents heart issues.

  • If the Na-K pump fails,  it can lead to swelling of the cell.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. How Does the Sodium-potassium Pump Function?

Ans: The Na-K pump system rolls sodium and potassium ions across a large concentration gradient. It settles two potassium ions in the cell where the potassium levels are high. It pumps out three sodium ions into the extracellular fluid. These three sodium ions attach to the protein pump in the cell. The carrier protein gets energy from ATP and changes its shape. In this process, three sodium ions are pumped out of the cell. Now two potassium ions from the outside of the cell membrane bind to the protein pump. The K ions are transported in the cell and the process continues.

Q2. What is the Role of Sodium and Potassium in Conduction?

Ans: Water cannot generate electricity in its purest form. The conduction of electricity through water happens because of sodium and potassium ions and other electrolytes. These ions move in the cell to and fro and when it moves it creates electricity. The pure form of water does not contain any active ingredient that can conduct electricity.

Maintaining electrolyte balance in the human body is very important. High consumption of sodium and low potassium intake can increase heart-related diseases and death in human beings. Maintaining a proper diet is very important for a healthy body and mind. Consuming the right amount of salt promotes bone health and contraction of the muscle.