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Potassium Deficiency in Rats: Effects on Rates of Dehydration and Electrolyte Homeostasis
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA
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Three groups of rats were fed a nutritionally complete C, potassium-deficient -K, or potassium-supplemented K diet for 28 days followed by passive exposure to a moderate heat stress T sub amb 31.5 deg C until a hypohydration level of 8-9 of initial body weight was achieved. Significant P0.05 hypokalemia was achieved in the -K group and, while final T sub re was also increased P0.05 vs C in this group, time to achieve hypohydration and water loss during heat stress were unaffected. Potassium K levels were decreased and sodium Na concentrations were increased in selected striated muscles of both the K and -K groups vs C, but electrolytes in critical tissues heart, brain, kidney, liver were unaffected by dietary intake. The moderate hyperthermia achieved during the dehydration interval elicited minor effects on several indices of heat stressinjury. The results suggest that the combination of consumption of a K deficient diet for 28 days and exposure to moderate heat stress did not significantly affect dehydration rates or total water loss, but a slightly elevated final T sub re was observed in the -K group. Hypohydration, Tissue electrolytes, Potassium deficiency.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE