Link between high blood pressure and lack of potassium

Winter 2008 CSANews Issue 69  |  Posted date : Dec 23, 2008.Back to list

New research shows that the lack of potassium in one's diet is a major risk factor for high blood pressure. Surprisingly, the lack of potassium is considered just as risky, if not more, than a diet high in sodium. The Texas study analyzed urine samples of 3,300 participants. Researchers found that the lower the level of potassium in the urine, the higher the blood pressure. Lead study author, Dr. Susan Hedayati, comments that, "This effect was even stronger than the effect of sodium on blood pressure".

The link between low potassium and high blood pressure remained strong, even when other factors, such as age, race and cardiovascular risks (i.e., smoking and diabetes) were taken into consideration.

Although further studies are currently underway, researchers have advised that people consume more potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, citrus fruits and many types of vegetables.