Do potassium supplements lower blood pressure? The answer to this question is a qualified “yes”. Research shows that taking a supplement with reasonably high amounts of potassium can lower blood pressure.
The body’s fluid balance depends on electrolytes, which are minerals found in our tissues and bodily fluids. Proper consumption of a variety of foods rich in potassium can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower blood tension. Although the effect of a supplement on blood pressure is not immediately visible, it can be significant.
Potassium is essential to good health, and a balanced diet provides most of the required amount. Patients who have a low potassium intake or have a history of kidney failure may need to take a potassium supplement.
A lack of potassium can lead to muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, and mood changes. Some patients even experience nausea or vomiting, a symptom of a deficiency in potassium.
The effectiveness of supplemental potassium in lowering blood pressure has also been confirmed in two meta-analyses. The researchers found that compared to a placebo, supplemental potassium significantly decreased diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
The benefit of supplemental potassium was greater when the baseline intake of potassium was less than 3,510 milligrams per day. It also reduced blood pressure by as much as 6 mm Hg, and the effects were dose-dependent.
The results of a recent study conducted by Mantle, M., et al., revealed that a combination of insulin and potassium reduced blood pressure in healthy subjects. The findings were published in the CMAJ 174: Pt 1 (1986). Khaw and Thom reported that a study of insulin- and potassium therapy in patients with hypertension was similar to that of the placebo group.
Other studies have concluded that potassium supplements lower blood pressure. A DASH diet is rich in potassium, and a DASH diet can contain plenty of fruits and vegetables. This diet is an excellent source of potassium.
A medium banana has approximately 420 milligrams of potassium. Half a cup of plain mashed sweet potatoes contains about 475 milligrams of potassium. It is best to consume a healthy amount of dietary potassium, in order to reduce blood pressure.