According to the Linus Pauling Institute, potassium deficiency
contributes to several common diseases. There is considerable
evidence, says Jane Higdon, Ph.D, of the Pauling Institute, that
a potassium intake of at least 4.7 grams a day helps reduce the
risk of stroke, hypertension, osteoporosis and kidney stones.
For that reason alone, the Linus Pauling Institute recommends
that all adults, including those over the age of 65, increase
their daily intake of potassium to at least 4.7 grams a day.
merely the tip of the research iceberg into the effects of the
modern low potassium diet. Because potassium and sodium work
together to regulate blood pressure and muscle contraction, low
potassium levels can wreak quiet havoc on health. Hypertension
is a leading predictor of heart disease and stroke, and is more
common in those with diabetes – three of the leading causes of
death in America.
symptoms of low potassium intake that don’t quite approach the
level of potassium deficiency may not be as deadly, but they can
make life unpleasant and uncomfortable. For instance:
potassium contributes to muscle spasms and ‘restless leg
syndrome’. Because potassium plays a major role in
regulating smooth muscle contractions, low potassium levels
are associated with muscle twitches and spasms. These
include a condition that doctors call ‘restless leg
syndrome’, a condition that often wakes people during the
night. They also include those ‘charley-horses’ that plague
many pregnant women and older adults during sleep hours.
Increasing potassium intake to optimal levels can reduce or
eliminate muscle spasms and contractions that interrupt
sleep and contribute to a general feeling of restlessness
potassium levels contribute to general feelings of fatigue
and muscle tiredness. Because potassium is an important part
of synthesizing protein and metabolizing glucose and
glycogen, prime energy sources for the body, low potassium
levels can leave you feeling tired, achey and generally
fatigued. Increasing the intake of potassium through
supplements and diet can boost energy by helping your body
make more efficient use of the nutrients you feed it.
potassium levels exacerbate irritability and anxiety. In
several studies with people diagnosed with mild depression,
increasing their intake of high potassium foods showed
notable improvement in day to day mood. Because potassium is
used in neural transmission, increasing potassium intake in
the diet may help improve mood and alleviate irritability
potassium levels are linked with bone loss in osteoporosis.
Because potassium inhibits bone resorption, adequate levels
of potassium help reduce loss of bone due to osteoporosis.
these are not the kinds of benefits that grab headlines.
Instead, they are the small changes in the way your body
functions that improve the quality of your life by getting rid
of aches, pains and irritations that infringe on your enjoyment
of daily activities. Taken together with the medically proven
benefits of reducing high blood pressure and preventing stroke,
they make a powerful endorsement for ensuring that you get
adequate levels of potassium in your daily diet.
Increasing Potassium Intake Safely
too much potassium at once can also have dangerous side effects.
High potassium intake may result in a condition called
hyperkalemia. The dangers of hyperkalemia include tissue damage
and heart arrhythmia that can lead to cardiac arrest. Because of
the danger of potassium toxicity, nutritional supplements sold
in the United States can not contain more than 99 milligrams of
potassium per tablet.
doctors and health professionals recommend that you get the bulk
of your potassium from a high potassium diet. A diet that
includes lots of fresh, whole vegetables and fruit, seafood and
red meat, and legumes and nuts should provide adequate levels of
potassium for most people. Unfortunately, many of us rely on
food that’s been processed or treated with preservatives that
can deplete the potassium levels found in them naturally. In
addition, the high intake of sodium that’s common to the
American diet can disrupt the delicate balance between sodium
and potassium that’s vital to proper cell function.
that balance between sodium and potassium is so vital, many
doctors recommend taking potassium in supplement form that
includes other essential nutrients. A quality nutritional
Total Balance Unisex from
Xtend-Life of New Zealand helps support
health by providing a carefully balanced blend of ingredients
that interact with each other synergistically and ensure that
you get all the benefit possible from a healthy diet.