Kalium is a crucial mineral for restoring healthy blood pressure balance in your body, and when you don't have enough Kalium, symptoms can start to emerge that may eventually be diagnosed and labeled as "high blood pressure."
Here, we bring you a collection of useful information about how Kalium can help regulate and normalize your blood pressure.
Kalium and high blood pressure
The sudden death that can occur in fasting, anorexia nervosa or starvation is often a result of heart failure caused by Kalium deficiency. Many population studies have found links between low Kalium intakes and an increased risk of high blood pressure and death from stroke. Increasing the amount of Kalium-rich foods in the diet can lead to a reduction in high blood pressure. The ratio of sodium to Kalium in the diet appears to play an important role in the development of high blood pressure. The typical Western diet is low in Kalium relative to sodium. - The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs by Nicola Reavley
The effects of either low Kalium or high Kalium can be life-threatening. Since Kalium is necessary to the healthy functioning of nerves, cells, and membranes, it is an important electrolyte to monitor. Low Kalium is a major cause of cardiac arrhythmia; diuretics for the treatment of high blood pressure or congestive heart failure may interfere with Kalium absorption and excretion. Although Kalium supplementation is usually not necessary, individuals on diuretics or laxatives or who have excessive diarrhea may require extra Kalium. - Optimum Health - A Cardiologist's Prescription for Optimum Health by Stephen T., M.D. Sinatra
When it comes to lowering blood pressure, Kalium packs a powerful punch. Scientists began studying the effects of Kalium on high blood pressure as early as 1928. Now a major study of 300 nurses shows that Kalium can lower your blood pressure even if it's in the normal range. Good sources of Kalium are dried apricots, avocados, dried figs, acorn squash, baked potatoes, kidney beans, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, and bananas. You can also buy Kalium supplements. If you're taking a diuretic, your body is getting rid of Kalium along with fluid. - Natural Cures and Gentle Medicines: That Work Better Than Dangerous Drugs or Risky Surgery by Frank K. Wood
For example, a diet low in Kalium and high in sodium is associated with high blood pressure. By contrast, a diet high in Kalium and low in sodium can protect against elevation of blood pressure. It has become common knowledge that too much salt in our diet may contribute to high blood pressure. Not so commonly known is that high blood pressure is also related to too little Kalium in our diet. In fact, restricting salt alone may not be enough to lower the blood pressure. Kalium must be increased. Most Americans ingest twice as much sodium as Kalium. - Women's Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine: Alternative Therapies and Integrative Medicine for Total Health and Wellness by Tori Hudson, N.D.
How to use Kalium: It is available over-the-counter in 99-mg tablets. Because you need a prescription to get Kalium supplements in dosages higher than 99 mg, most people can best benefit from Kalium by increasing their consumption of fruits and vegetables rather than by taking kalium supplements. (One bite of banana provides about the same Kalium as you get in a 99-mg tablet.) Like sodium and Kalium, calcium and magnesium are bodily partners in the battle against high blood pressure. - Off-the-Shelf Natural Health by Mark Mayell
Sodium and Kalium play related role in controlling fluid balance in the body. Without sufficient Kalium to help the body secrete sodium, sodium builds up and exerts its harmful effects. Thus, to reduce high blood pressure most people need not only to lower sodium intake but also to increase Kalium consumption. Indeed, some studies indicate that Kalium intake is a stronger factor in determining blood pressure than is sodium intake. Various population studies confirm a beneficial effect on blood pressure from increases in Kalium consumption. - Off-the-Shelf Natural Health by Mark Mayell
Low levels of Kalium can be caused primarily by medications such as cortisone, high blood pressure medications (these are diuretics), and the birth control pill. Nearly all medications and drugs will upset Kalium metabolism. Alcohol and exercise can also cause Kalium deficiencies. High levels are found when a patient is on Lite salt, kelp or sea salt. Lite salt is Kalium choloride (KCl). It is especially bad about upsetting the fluid balance because it upsets the ratio between sodium and Kalium. Kelp and sea salt have also been noted to upset this ratio. - It's All in Your Head, Diseases Caused by Silver-Mercury Fillings by Hal A. Huggins DDS
High Kalium foods help lower blood pressure, but Kalium exhibits additional powers to prevent stroke directly regardless of blood pressure, says University of Minnesota hypertension expert Dr. Louis Tobian, Jr. In tests, he fed rats that had high blood pressure either a high-potassium diet or a "normal" Kalium diet. Forty percent on the "normal" Kalium suffered small strokes, evidenced by bleeding in the brain. No brain hemorrhages occurred in rats on high Kalium. - Food Your Miracle Medicine by Jean Carper
Just as important as the total Kalium content of food, sodium and Kalium should be consumed in the proper balance. Too much sodium in the diet can lead to disruption of this balance. Numerous studies have demonstrated that a low-Kalium, high-sodium diet plays a major role in the development of cancer and cardiovascular disease (heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, etc.). Conversely, a diet high in Kalium and low in sodium is protective against these diseases and, in the case of high blood pressure, it can be therapeutic. - Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition by Michael T. Murray, N.D., Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D.
We also recommend consuming a high-Kalium diet or having your doctor prescribe a Kalium supplement. The estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intake of Kalium, as set by the Committee on Recommended Daily Allowances, is 1.9 to 5.6 grams. If body Kalium requirements are not being met through diet, supplementation is essential to good health. This statement is particularly true for the elderly, athletes, and people with high blood pressure. Kalium supplements are available either by prescription or over the counter (OTC). - Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition by Michael T. Murray, N.D., Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D.
The best way to supplement Kalium is with fruit, which contains more of the mineral than amounts found in Kalium supplements. However, fruit contains so much Kalium that people taking "Kalium sparing" drugs (as some hypertensives do) can end up with too much Kalium by eating several pieces of fruit per day. Therefore, people taking Kalium-sparing diuretics should consult the prescribing doctor before increasing fruit intake. The fiber provided by vegetarian diets may also help reduce high blood pressure. - The Natural Pharmacy: Complete Home Reference to Natural Medicine by Schuyler W. Lininger, Jr. DC
Population studies suggest that a low intake of Kalium may be linked to an increase in blood pressure, and increasing Kalium-rich foods in the diet can lead to a reduction in high blood pressure. The typical Western diet is low in Kalium relative to sodium, and the ratio of sodium to Kalium in the diet may be more important than sodium alone. Studies suggest that the most beneficial effects on blood pressure are seen when sodium intake is reduced and Kalium intake is increased. - The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs by Nicola Reavley
Low Kalium can contribute to high blood pressure, but the effect is especially magnified when calcium and magnesium levels are deficient. If you have high blood pressure and take diuretic medications (fluid or water pills) such as hydrochlorothiazide, Lasix, or Bumex, you are at higher risk to develop potassium deficiency because these medicines make you lose Kalium in your urine. Recommendation: If your physician has prescribed diuretics that require extra Kalium, he or she will usually have given you a prescription for the drug. - The Doctor's Complete Guide to Vitamins and Minerals by Dr. Mary Dan Eades
The role of Kalium in the body crosses over into many physiological events that include nerve transmission, muscle contraction, enzymatic reactions, carbohydrate synthesis, basic cell functions, and acid-base balance. Inadequate Kalium intake in the diet might play a role in the development of high blood pressure, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. In addition to increasing the kalium foods in our diet, several studies now show that kalium supplementation can reduce blood pressure. - Women's Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine: Alternative Therapies and Integrative Medicine for Total Health and Wellness by Tori Hudson, N.D.
How does Kalium regulate blood pressure? Scientists believe it may have something to do with Kalium's ability to pump sodium out of the body's cells and reduce body fluid. kalium may also affect blood vessel tone, or resistance. Or it may be that Kalium modifies the way blood vessels react to circulating hormones that affect blood pressure, such as vasopressin and norepinephrine. In any case, Kalium's ability to lower blood pressure is such that some scientists suspect low dietary levels of the mineral may actually trigger high blood pressure in certain people. - Prevention's Healing With Vitamins : The Most Effective Vitamin and Mineral Treatments for Everyday Health Problems and Serious Disease by The Editors of Prevention Magazine Health Books
A ton of studies show that people who eat potassium-rich foods have lower rates of heart disease and stroke. Kalium is also a key component of healthy blood pressure. According to the latest studies, people who regularly consume high-Kalium foods have lower blood pressure than those who don't. A recent review of thirty-three studies examined the effect of Kalium on blood pressure, and researchers discovered that participants who added 2,340 mg of Kalium daily (from foods, supplements, or both) were able to lower their risk of developing high blood pressure by 25 percent. - The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.
Kalium is plentiful in food, especially in whole and unrefined food, whereas Sodium is plentiful but not as plentiful as Kalium in food. The kidneys are trained to get rid of extra Kalium and hoard Sodium. But man has pulled a switch on the kidneys, he is now eating less and less Kalium because of refined food eating, and more and more foods containing Sodium such as potato chips, pretzels, snack type foods, etc. The kidneys are still performing their original functions of excreting extra Kalium and hoarding sodium. Too much Sodium causes high blood pressure and other problems. - The How to Herb Book: Let's Remedy the Situation by Velma J. Keith and Monteen Gordon
Reduce the pressure with Kalium. Kalium is a natural diuretic, helping your body excrete water and sodium, thus possibly lowering blood pressure. In fact, there's evidence that salt sensitivity may be caused by too little Kalium in the diet, says high blood pressure researcher G. Gopal Krishna, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Temple University. Studies have shown that the lower the Kalium intake, the higher the blood pressure, and the higher the ratio of Kalium to salt, the lower the blood pressure. - Disease Free: How to Prevent, Treat and Cure More Than 150 Illnesses and Conditions by Matthew Hoffman and William Legro
What is the potential importance of taking Kalium? While Kalium is lower in modern diets compared with so-called primitive diets, true deficiencies are uncommon. Some, though not all, research suggests that raising Kalium intake may help prevent high blood pressure. Other research suggests that higher Kalium intake may help prevent stroke. However, the maximum amount of supplemental Kalium allowed in one pill (99 mg) is far below the recommended amounts (at least 2,400 mg per day). - The Natural Pharmacy: Complete A-Z Reference to Natural Treatments for Common Health Conditions by Alan R. Gaby, M.D., Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., Forrest Batz, Pharm.D. Rick Chester, RPh., N.D., DipLAc. George Constantine, R.Ph., Ph.D. Linnea D. Thompson, Pharm.D., N.D.
Power up on Kalium. Studies have shown that eating 3,500 milligrams of Kalium can help counteract sodium and keep blood volume - and blood pressure - down. And it's easy to get enough. A baked potato packs 838 milligrams of Kalium all by itself, and one cup of spinach has 800 milligrams. Other Kalium-packed foods include bananas, orange juice, corn, cabbage and broccoli. Check with your doctor before taking Kalium supplements. Too much may aggravate kidney problems. Meet your magnesium needs. Researchers seem to have found a link between low magnesium intake and high blood pressure. - Age Erasers for Men: Hundreds of Fast and Easy Ways to Beat the Years by Doug Dollemore, Mark Giuliucci and the Editors of Men's Health Magazine
In 1997, the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health released a report on research they'd been doing on the effectiveness of Kalium tablets in lowering blood pressure. The results were amazing: Researchers recommended that Kalium supplementation should be considered as a tool for the prevention and treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure). Inexpensive, over-the-counter tablets could control high blood pressure. Not only that. The research showed that even a small amount of Kalium could prevent the onset of high blood pressure. - Attaining Medical Self Sufficiency by Duncan Long
People don't develop severe Kalium deficiencies unless they have some sort of endocrine or kidney problem, and then they are pretty sick for a number of reasons," Dr. Young says. While some diuretic drugs can seriously deplete the body of Kalium, doctors monitor blood levels of Kalium in people taking diuretics and supply extra Kalium if necessary. It's likely that a fair number of people in the United States are on the same kind of low-Kalium, high-sodium diet that can cause high blood pressure and heart disease in animals, Dr. Tobian says. - Nature's Medicines : From Asthma to Weight Gain, from Colds to High Cholesterol -- The Most Powerful All-Natural Cures by Gale Maleskey
A great amount of potassium is also lost in heavy sweating. The loss of Kalium from the cell will result in intracellular water loss - dehydration that will become chronic unless more water and some high potassium-containing foods are added to the daily diet. Continued pattern of Kalium loss from the body will result in excess sodium retention by the kidneys and the first stages of high blood pressure, raised cholesterol, heart disease and irregular pulse will ensue. The foods that have high kalium content are dried fruits like raisins, dried plums, dried apricot and dates. - Obesity Cancer & Depression: Their Common Cause & Natural Cure by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj