Potassium for Healthy Blood Pressure – Invite Health Podcast, Episode 33
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Jerry Hickey. Ph
Minerals are so essential to good health, energy, and longevity and almost all people are low in at least one mineral. Potassium is one of those minerals that most people in the U.S. are truly low in. And it is extremely important for blood pressure control and for the body’s acid/base balance such as in being alkaline or conversely the Keto diet. Yet research is lacking especially in reference to the effects of many minerals on blood pressure.
We do know that salt, which is made out of the minerals sodium and chloride can raise blood pressure and we usually get far too much salt. However, what’s rarely discussed is the effects of the minerals Potassium and Magnesium on blood pressure control. They both help lower it, with potassium being more effective.
98% of Americans are deficient in Potassium.
-Jerry Hickey, Ph.
What is an Electrolyte and its function?
Potassium is in your sports drink because it is an electrolyte used for energy. Simply put, an electrolyte is a mineral that when mixed in water gives an electrical charge and this is a major way that our body conducts business physiologically. Other important electrolytes are sodium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, and phosphate.
Sodium is the major electrolyte in body fluids outside of our cells and potassium is the major electrolyte within our cells. So these two electrolytes, sodium and potassium, interact to balance our body fluids to prevent dehydration or to prevent fluid-related swelling which is called edema. This fluid balance is important for muscle and nerve function. Nerves and muscles are considered to be electric tissues of our body. For instance the electrolytes sodium, potassium, and calcium move in and out of cells and fluids through structures called ion channels that allow your muscles to contract. So, lacking any one of these three minerals leads to muscle weakness or muscle cramps.
Sodium and potassium also interact to control our blood pressure.
Studies on Potassium and Blood Pressure
Three different meta-analysis’ from Europe says there is a significant association between potassium intake and lower blood pressure. European authorities go on to say, “European and American professional associations recommend to increase dietary intakes of potassium for the prevention and management of hypertension.”
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reports cutting down on salt and increasing levels of potassium will have major health and cost benefits across the world – saving millions from heart attack and stroke. The number one cause of a stroke is high blood pressure. Modest salt reduction was studied in 34 clinical trials and researchers found after 4 weeks, blood pressure was lowered. This was seen in both men and women and in all races of participants in the study. Across the board, reducing blood pressure can prevent the risk of heart disease.
Lifestyle Changes Needed
If you are chronically stressed, you will not see a huge change in your blood pressure. Stress has a direct impact on this condition. You must be sure to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. This is critical – whether you are taking supplements or on medications, you must be sure to be eating antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.
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- Potassium is important for muscle and heart function and blood pressure control
- 98% of Americans are lacking this important mineral
- Eat fresh vegetables and fruits to support health blood pressure
- Association between electrolytes and blood pressure