Jan 19, 2019 | Updated: 08:24 AM EST

Potassium Effective In Fighting Hypertension, Reducing Kidney Stones

Apr 12, 2017 06:01 AM EDT


Potassium intake is seen as an important factor in the diet of a person suffering from hypertension. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a medical condition that is considered a risk factor for other illnesses such as chronic kidney diseases, stroke or heart failure. There are various factors that can contribute to the disease including smoking and alcohol. Studies also showed that excessive salt or sodium intake can also lead to this long-term medical condition.

The World Health Organization reported that hypertension is responsible for 51 percent of deaths related to stroke and 45 percent of deaths related to heart problems. Up to 75 million of the one billion people all over the world who suffer from high blood pressure live in the United States. The condition develops over the years, but a person can have the condition for years without any symptoms at all. It is, however, easy to detect and can thus be managed by the patient through medication and intake of doctor-recommended minerals like potassium.

The American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism published a review that shows how diet, especially the intake of potassium, plays a vital role in the management of hypertension, according to Medical News Today. This electrolyte does not only play an important role in the functions of the nerves and muscles, but it also keeps the heart beating.

"Decreasing sodium intake is a well-established way to lower blood pressure, but evidence suggests that increasing dietary potassium may have an equally important effect on hypertension." University of Southern California-Keck School of Medicine Professor Alicia McDonough said.

McDonough, who authored the review, studied the potassium-sodium linkage, as well as the impact of the sodium-potassium ratio. The investigation showed that a person can have lower blood pressure regardless of the sodium intake if there is a high potassium consumption. The same findings resulted from other studies that specifically looked at the result of potassium supplements on blood pressure. It means hypertension can be avoided with the help of potassium.

The intake of potassium-rich food can help in the management of hypertension, according to the American Heart Association. A person who consumes more food with potassium loses more sodium through the urine. The substance also helps reduce blood pressure by easing the blood vessel wall tension. Among the best sources of potassium are bananas, honeydew melon, grapefruit juice, lima beans and green, leafy vegetables.

There are seven essential minerals and potassium is one of them. Humans need to take at least 100 milligrams of this mineral every day to promote healthy body processes. Aside from reducing the risk of hypertension, this mineral can also help reduce kidneys tone formation, help maintain the bone mineral density and protect the maintenance of muscle mass.

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