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Low potassium linked to hypertension

In a study of 3,303 American adults a low potassium level correlated with high blood pressure. This was regardless of the level of salt (sodium) in the diet or other cardiovascular risk factors.

The potassium study

The results showed that the amount of potassium in urine samples was strongly related to blood pressure in the 3,303 subjects. The lower the potassium in the urine, the lower the potassium in the diet, the higher the blood pressure.

The connection between low potassium and high blood pressure was significant even when age, race, and other cardiovascular risk factors were taken into account.

Researchers comments

Lead author Susan Hedayati, MD, of the University of Texas said, “This study supports the hypothesis that dietary potassium deficiency plays an important role in the development of high blood pressure.

She added, “There has been a lot of publicity about lowering salt or sodium in the diet in order to lower blood pressure, but not enough on increasing dietary potassium.

Potassium sources

Foods that are high in potassium include; bananas, cantaloupe, grapefruit, oranges, tomato or prune juice, honeydew melons, prunes, molasses and potatoes.


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