Having levels of potassium that are too high or too low can be fatal. A new mathematical model sheds light on the often mysterious ways the body regulates this important electrolyte.
Potassium, a common mineral abundant in food like bananas and leafy greens, is essential to normal cellular function. It helps the cardiac muscle work correctly and aids in the transmission of electrical signals within cells.
Using existing biological data, researchers at the University of Waterloo built a mathematical model that simulates how an average person’s body regulates potassium, both in times of potassium depletion and during potassium intake. “A lot of our models are pieces of a bigger picture,” said Anita Layton, professor of applied mathematics and Canada 150 Research Chair in mathematical biology and medicine. “This model is one new and exciting piece in helping us understand how our incredibly complex internal systems work.”
Read more in the full article on the Waterloo News site.