Archive for the ‘Potassium’ Category

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Potassium Balance is Key to Blood Pressure Maintenance and Heart Disease Prevention

August 15, 2011
Potassium to Sodium Ratio is Critical to Prevent Hypertension

Potassium to Sodium Ratio is Critical to Prevent Hypertension

Increasing incidence of high blood pressure continues to be the most significant factor in death from a heart attack and advancing cardiovascular disease. Elevated blood pressure readings cause thickening of the coronary arteries as micro-cracks develop that the body attempts to correct with deposits of coronary plaque.

Overweight and obesity, smoking, physical inactivity and stress are known contributing factors to the hypertension epidemic. Researchers publishing in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that the imbalance of potassium to sodium in the diet is a significant factor driving high blood pressure. Maintaining an optimized ratio of 2:1 (potassium to sodium) by cutting salty processed foods and increasing natural fruits and vegetables is shown to significantly lower out of control blood pressure readings.

Potassium to Sodium Ratio in Diet is Critical to Improve Hypertension

Strawberries and Bananas are Excellent Sources of Dietary Potassium

Strawberries and Bananas are Excellent Sources of Dietary Potassium

Potassium from natural food sources has been rapidly depleted from the typical diet due to the dramatic rise in sodium-laden processed foods over the past half century. Combined with a reduction in raw vegetables and fruits that are excellent sources of potassium, the balance of potassium to sodium in the diet has shifted from an ideal ratio of 2:1 to a blood pressure raising rate of 2:3. Current potassium intake is fully one-third that of our generational ancestors and is attributed to the skyrocketing increase in high blood pressure incidence and associated cardiovascular risk.

Researchers examining the potassium intake across 21 countries including the US found that average daily consumption of the mineral ranged from 1.7 to 3.7 grams, well below the recommended daily allowance of 4.7 grams. Similarly, sodium consumption averaged 5 grams per day with many individuals taking in as much as 9 to 12 grams. The recommended sodium intake is 2,400 mg daily and 1,500 mg or less is suggested for those with established cardiovascular risk factors.

Increase Dietary Potassium to Significantly Lower Heart Disease Risk

Less Than A Quarter of Adults Have Blood Pressure Under Control

Less Than A Quarter of Adults Have Blood Pressure Under Control

The study found that only 20% to 30 % of the adult population maintains normal blood pressure readings. The study authors found “An effective way of increasing potassium intake is to follow the guidelines for healthy nutrition more closely, including a higher consumption of vegetables and fruit. In addition, the use of mineral salts in processed foods – by which sodium is partly replaced by potassium – would contribute to an improved intake of both sodium and potassium.”

The study concluded that increasing potassium in the diet has a significant effect on lowering blood pressure and is equal to the effect seen by lowering sodium consumption. Higher potassium intake from natural sources including avocados, spinach, carrots and tomatoes and eliminating sodium-infused processed foods (snacks, soup and fast food) can combine to lower systolic blood pressure readings by 5% to 7%. Improving this single risk factor could reduce hypertension rates enough to dramatically lower cardiovascular risk and heart attack deaths.

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Magnesium and Potassium Lower Heart Attack Risk

July 5, 2011
Potent Mineral Duo Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Potent Mineral Duo Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Potassium and magnesium are two essential minerals that provide a powerful shield against age-related arterial stiffness and elevated blood pressure readings. Despite our best dietary efforts to eat plenty of fresh vegetables, nuts and fruits, some may still be deficient in circulating levels of this super duo.

Due to over farming practices, magnesium levels are less than half compared to a century ago. Many people shun potassium from salt based on the unfounded notion that sodium increases the incidence of heart disease. The result of research presented to the American Society of Nephrology concludes that reduced intake of potassium is a significant risk factor in higher blood pressure readings and incidence of coronary artery disease.

Critical Minerals Have Been Eliminated From Our Modern Diet

Potassium From Bananas Critical to Lower Heart Attack Risk

Potassium From Bananas Critical to Lower Heart Attack Risk

Researchers found that the present American consumes less than one-third the amount of potassium compared to our evolutionary counterparts. This is largely due to a diet high in processed foods and lowered consumption of fruits and vegetables. Study results demonstrated that increased dietary potassium both lowered blood pressure as well as most pharmaceuticals and improved cardiovascular health by promoting renal fitness and improved elimination of plaque-forming calcium from the blood.

Studies conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that patients with chronically elevated pulmonary blood pressure and the lowest sodium and potassium levels had a ten-fold increased risk of death from cardiac complications. The heart requires a proper balance of the two minerals to handle increased workloads, and low potassium levels make the heart unable to meet this demand.

Lack of Dietary Magnesium Leads to Arterial Hardening

Magnesium Shown to Prevent Arterial Hardening

Magnesium Shown to Prevent Arterial Hardening

New medical research now shows that low levels of magnesium is an independent risk factor for arterial hardening that is a leading cause of congestive heart failure and heart attack. It`s estimated that 70% of all adults are deficient in this mineral as a result of poor dietary balance and reduced absorption from healthy sources such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Contributing to the journal Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, researchers determined that magnesium supplementation “could have a major impact on cardiovascular health and help to correct the source of problems such as high blood pressure.”

Magnesium and potassium exert multiple critical influences on arterial health that result in improved vascular tone. The mineral duo is shown to lower levels of systemic inflammation, improve vasodilatation and support the production of friendly nitric oxide necessary for proper elasticity of the vascular system. Health-minded individuals will want to ensure a daily magnesium intake between 400 and 600 mg. Ensure proper potassium levels by eating a diet filled with fresh vegetables to maintain normal blood pressure readings and lower risk from cardiovascular disease and stroke.