A study published in the medical journal Stroke in Sept. 2014 showed that potassium can lower the risk of a stroke. 90,137 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. Specifically, they had no history of stroke in the beginning of the study. It is important to realize that researchers used dietary questionnaires to determine the total daily potassium intake. This amounted on average to 2,611 mg per day. Over the next 11 years (the follow-up study period) there were 3,046 strokes, which included 2,190 ischemic strokes. There were also 11,596 deaths from all causes.
Comparison of high and low potassium content in food
Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York decided to compare the women whose potassium intake was in the top 25% bracket with those whose potassium intake was in the lowest 25% bracket. Another key point, they found that women in the top potassium intake bracket had 12% less strokes, 16% less ischemic strokes and a 10% lower risk of dying from any cause of death when compared to women with the lowest potassium intake bracket.
The US Department of Agriculture suggests 4,700 mg of potassium daily. However, Dr. Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, the lead author of the study stated that only 2.8% of women in the study would have reached or exceeded that daily level. On the other hand, the World Health Organization’s recommendation of daily potassium intake is 3,510 mg or more. This means that only 16.6% of the women studied had reached or exceeded that level.
What can you do to increase your potassium consumption?
Here is a food list that explains how much potassium is in each food item listed. You see from this that not only bananas contain potassium, but there are other foods that contain it: Pacific cod, plain yogurt, carrot juice, white beans, baked sweet potatoes and many more.
As everybody’s kidney function is different and medications can also affect your potassium levels, you should discuss with your physician whether or not you should take a small amount of potassium salt supplement.
Reducing blood pressure and stroke risk with potassium supplement
Here is another study that showed that potassium supplement could be very beneficial in lowering blood pressure and reducing stroke risk by 24%.
More information regarding potassium loss in primary aldosteronism: https://nethealthbook.com/hormones/adrenal-gland-hormones/primary-aldosteronism/
Potassium needs to be monitored when high blood pressure is treated with diuretics: https://nethealthbook.com/cardiovascular-disease/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/treatment-high-blood-pressure/
Stroke. Epub 2014, Sept. 4