This brief book contains the proceedings of a seminar on potassium metabolism and therapy. It is divided into six chapters entitled "Intake," "Measurement," "Potassium Homeostasis," "Signs and Symptoms," "Therapy," and "The Problem of Digitalis Intoxication." As is often true when a group of knowledgeable persons discuss a subject of mutual interest, there was no unanimity of opinion about many aspects of potassium metabolism. Indeed, some of the basic tenets of potassium therapy were questioned.
Some interesting aspects of this seminar follow. While the usual palatable foods contain potassium, it is difficult to increase significantly the oral intake of potassium by supplementing the usual dietary intake. Foods rich in potassium such as molasses, dried apricots, parsley, soy beans, and ketchup can only be consumed in moderation, particularly by ill persons. Hence, to achieve a high intake one must give supplemental potassium salts. In discussing the use of potassium during therapy with