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Potassium
The Heart-Health Mineral

 
$3.74
Sample

Potassium complex
10 Count Bottle
350mg Capsules
$12.33
1 Month Supply

Potassium complex
180 Count Bottle
350mg Capsules
  • Overview
  • Ingredients
  • Directions
  • Side Effects

Potassium Deficiency
Linked to High Blood Pressure

Potassium deficiency supplement can reverse the links between high blood pressure and low potassium diets. About half of the US population does not get enough potassium in their diet without supplementation.

Potassium-- the major intracellular and extracellular electrolyte in the body-- is required for normal biological functions. When severe potassium deficiency is demonstrated using blood serum analysis, concentrations of less than 3.5 mmol/L. will be indicated. A person is considered severely deficient if potassium is lower than 3.5 mmol/L.  The negative consequence of severely low potassium levels includes cardiac arrhythmias, muscle weakness, and glucose intolerance… just to name a few of the symptoms. More symptoms can be found further down the page.

Most people will experience moderate potassium deficiency which typically occurs without blood serum analysis. If this moderately-deficient patient was to compare their symptoms to blood work, the blood work would demonstrate that the patient is in normal to low-normal range of potassium. However, these patients will typically demonstrate some of the most basic symptoms of potassium deficiency.

Examples:

  • Hypertension
  • Increased Risk of Kidney Stones
  • Osteopenia*
  • Osteoporosis*
  • Salt Sensitivity
  • More examples down the page

*Increased bone turnover as indicated by greater urinary calcium excretion with addition biochemical evidence of reduced bone formation and increased bone reabsorption; they can be shown to have osteopenia or osteoporosis.  An inadequate intake of dietary potassium may also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly stroke.

 

The Average American Diet Is Low in Potassium   

The diets of the average healthy Americans and Canadians were studied. The results show that the amount of potassium in the diet is lower than what is needed to sustain health... this sheds light on increase of hypertensive drugs, diabetes, cancer and other metabolic diseases that ravage the populations.

The average intake of potassium by adults:

Men 2.8 to 3.3 g (72 to 84 mmol)/day

Women, 2.2 to 2.4 g (56 to 61 mmol)/day

Because African Americans on average have a relatively low intake of potassium and a high prevalence of elevated blood pressure and sodium sensitivity, this subgroup of the US population would especially benefit from potassium supplementation.

Key Recommendations for Specific Population Groups

  • Individuals with hypertension, African Americans, and middle-aged and older adults should consume 4700mg of potassium per day.

The link between high blood pressure and low potassium was strong even when age, race, and other cardiovascular risk factors, such as high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking, were factored in. About half the study participants were African Americans, and they tended to consume the least amount of potassium in their diet.

Laboratory research for the study suggests that the WNK1 gene may be responsible for potassium's effects on blood pressure.

Climate and Physical Activity

Increased losses of potassium, primarily via sweat, can occur with heat exposure and exercise. Thus the requirement for potassium will increase in both situations. The average daily loss of potassium via sweat of three men who were exposed to 100°F heat for 7.5 hours per day for 16 days fell from 3100mg on day 2 to 550mg by day 11.

This is important to know if your do physical work or exercise on a regular bases or are one who works in an office setting and time to time work in the heat and sun.

  Age of Person mg* need per 24 hours  
Male*

(19+ in age)

4700mg  
Female* ( 19+ in age) 4700mg  
          Pregnancy 4700mg  
          Breast Feeding 5100mg  
  mg = millograms    
 
 
RDA Chart
 
 

*When reviewing information concerning nutrition, understand that the RDA is not the maximum requirement of a given nutrient. The RDA is, in fact, below the minimum requirement. Put frankly, if you only get the RDA of potassium in your diet, this will lead to nutritional deficiencies that cause damage to your body.

When determining your body’s metabolic needs of potassium, you need to figure into the equation foods you consume on a daily basis, the amount of exercise, and any allopathic drugs, e.g. diuretics, and if your body is suffering from damaged organ, e.g., renal disease. Obviously, if your body is in a disease state this makes it harder to determine your body’s exact requirements without blood work.

1.  To help you determine the amount of potassium in your diet please visit this web-site... Click Here.  

2.   *Mineral chart... Click Here.

In a study conducted in Finland where the dietary potassium intake is greater than in the United States, risk for kidney stones appeared to decrease with an increased intake of potassium (3.8 compared with 4.6 g [97 to 118 mmol]/day) (Hirvonen et al., 1999). However, higher intakes of potassium did not appear to further reduce risk, and the relationship between potassium intake and kidney stones, overall, was nonsignificant.

When does potassium become dangerous?

According to University of Florida consuming more than five times the suggested amount of potassium can lead to hyperkalemia – high levels of potassium in the blood. Hyperkalemia can cause a heart attack and be fatal1.

The National Academy of Science states “In clinical trials that assessed the effects of potassium supplementation as high as 15.6 g (400 mmol)/day over a period of at least 5 days in apparently healthy individuals, plasma levels of potassium increased but remained within the normal range (see Table 5-12). Importantly, there were no instances of hyperkalemia reported in these studies.”4.

 
 

Potassium is also consumed as potassium chloride as a food additive ingredient, a salt substitute, or as pills used therapeutically to treat diuretic-induced hypokalemia. While potassium chloride can correct hypokalemia (low blood serum potassium) and reduce blood pressure, it cannot correct the low-grade metabolic acidosis induced by high protein diets.

 
  • Stroke / Heart Disease
  • Kidney Stones

In addition to its blood pressure-reducing effects, increased potassium intake has independent vascular protective properties.

In a series of animal models, including both stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive and Dahl salt-sensitive rats, the addition of either potassium chloride or potassium citrate markedly reduced the mortality from stroke, a reduction that was unrelated to any measured attenuation of hypertension (Tobian, 1986; Tobian et al., 1984).

In a more recent study with stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats in which aortic blood pressure was measured by continuous radiotelemetry, dietary potassium supplemented as either potassium bicarbonate or potassium citrate attenuated hypertension and prevented stroke (Tanaka et al., 1997).

However, supplemental potassium chloride exacerbated hypertension, increased risk of stroke (Tanaka et al., 1997), and amplified renal microangiopathy (Tanaka et al., 2001), in comparison with potassium bicarbonate or citrate.

In several studies, an increased dietary intake of potassium has been associated with a reduced risk of kidney stones.

Kidney stones in both sexes are directly related to the urinary sodium:potassium ratio (Cirillo et al., 1994). In a pre-post, uncontrolled study of children with idiopathic hypercalciuria, reducing the dietary sodium:potassium ratio greatly reduced urinary calcium excretion (Alon and Berenbom, 2000).

Excessive urinary calcium excretion is generally accepted as a major risk factor for calcium-containing kidney stones (Coe et al., 1992). The incidence of kidney stones has been shown to increase with an increased sodium:potassium ratio (Stamler and Cirillo, 1997).

In a longitudinal study of 51,529 men conducted prospectively over 4 years, the incidence of symptomatic kidney stones, while not correlating with dietary sodium, did correlate strongly and negatively with dietary potassium as measured by a food-frequency questionnaire over a broad range of intake (2.9 to 4.0 g [74 to 102 mmol]/day) (Curhan et al., 1993) .

The absence of a relationship between dietary sodium and kidney stones should be interpreted cautiously because the food-frequency questionnaire used in these studies did not measure sodium intake either accurately or precisely (Subar et al., 2001). In this study (Curhan et al., 1993), the incidence of kidney stones correlated directly with meat intake.

In a 12-year prospective study of an even larger number of female nurses, the incidence of stone formation was inversely associated with dietary potassium (2.0 to 4.7 g [52 to 119 mmol]/day) (Curhan et al., 1997).

 


 
 

Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate deficiency is one substance demonstrated to increase acidosis in the body leading to an increase of cancer in the western diet. Potassium deficiency is directly linked to bicarbonate deficiency.

In raw foods, the conjugate anions (Since protons are positively charged and electrons are negatively charged, if there are more electrons than protons, the atom or molecule will be negatively charged. This is called an anion (pronounced; an-eye-on), of potassium are mainly organic anions, such as citrate, that are converted in the body to bicarbonate. Hence an inadequate intake of potassium is also associated with reduced intake of bicarbonate precursors. Acting as a buffer, bicarbonate neutralizes diet-derived noncarbonic acids, such as sulfuric acid generated from sulfur-containing amino acids commonly found in meats and other high protein foods. In the setting of an inadequate intake of bicarbonate precursors, buffers in the bone matrix neutralize the excess diet-derived acid, and in the process, bone becomes demineralized.

Osteoporosis

Excess acids in the body irritates bone calcium and leads to increased urinary calcium and reduced urinary citrate excretion.

Kidney Stones

Calcium stone disease is attributable to super saturation of the urine with calcium and other salts, the presence of substances that promote crystallization and a deficiency of inhibitors of crystallization. Citrate is a potent inhibitor of calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate stone formation whose excretion is diminished in some patients with stone disease following the spontaneously or secondary factors such as bowel disease and use of diuretic.

Urine concentrations of calcium and citrate (Citrate is an intermediate in the (Krebs) Cycle ) are the most important factors in stone formation.

Potassium Citrate

Studies using potassium citrate, which increases urinary citrate excretion, had therapeutic effects for patients with kidney stone disease and hypocitraturia refractory.

Considering the forgone information, the resultant adverse clinical consequences are possibly increased bone demineralization and increased risk of calcium-containing kidney stones. In processed foods to which potassium has been added and in supplements, the conjugate anion is typically sodium chloride, which does not act as a buffer.

Because the demonstrated effects of potassium often depend on the accompanying anion and because it is difficult to separate the effects of potassium from the effects of its accompanying anion, studies indicate that supplementing with Potassium citrate instead of potassium chlorides.

Increasing potassium from foods naturally high in potassium such as fruits, vegetables, and other potassium-rich foods, would help improve ones life.

 

Signs of Potassium Deficiency

Consider a diagnosis of Potassium deficiency if these criteria are met:

  1. The individual has symptoms lasting more than 30 days.
  2. The patient concurrently has 3 or more of the following 28 symptoms:

Acne

Anxiety

Blistering Skin

Confusion

Constipation

Decreased Blood Sugar

Depression

Deterioration of Memory

Digestion Upset

Dry Skin

Ear Noise

Eczema

Gas

Granulation of Eyelids

Hypertension

Heart Deterioration

Improper Fat Digestion

Increased Risk Of Kidney Stones

Lack of Sleep

Muscular Weakness

Nausea

Nervous System Deterioration

Osteopenia

Osteoporosis

Salt Sensitivity

Skin Eruptions

Warts

Yellow Coating on Back of Tongue

 

Resources

1. University of Florida IFAS Extension, Facts about Potassium, R. Elaine Turner and Linda B. Bobroff  FCS8805
2. Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Recommended Intakes for Individuals, Elements Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academies of Science
3. Nutrients Catalog, Harvey Newstrom 1993 isbn: 0-89950-784-0
4. Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate Panel on Dietary Reference Intakes for Electrolytes and Water, Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes ISBN: 0-309-53049-0,

 
 
 
 

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