Friday, 10 January 2014

Dietary Potassium and Cardiovascular diseases

Dietary Minerals are the group of minerals essential for our body to sustain normal functions and physical health.
In General, potassium is an essential mineral to our body in building proteins and muscles, breaking down carbohydrates, maintaining normal body growth and normal heart electricity, etc.
Beside cancer, heart disease kills more than 2,000 Americans everyday. Approximately 60 million Americans have heart disease. There are many causes of heart diseases. Most of heart diseases are caused by high blood pressure contributes to hardening of the arteries. High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) build up in the arteries as a result of uncontrolled diet with high levels of saturated fat and trans fat. All these add to the formation of atherosclerosis lesions and eventually arterial blockage or anything that serves to damage the inner lining of blood vessels and impedes the transportation of oxygen and nutrition to the heart.

The benefits
High diet of potassium is found to be effective in reducing the risk of stroke and  CHD and total CVD, in the 11 Eleven studies with 15 cohort samples that included 247,510 male and female participants (follow-up 5 to 19 years), 7,066 strokes, 3,058 coronary heart disease (CHD) events. A systematic review also indicated that increased potassium intake reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension and has no adverse effect on blood lipid concentrations, catecholamine concentrations, or renal function in adults.

The Side effects
Overdose of potassium, also known as hyperkalemia may result of symptoms of hypotension, stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, irritability, fatigue, etc., and in some cases, it can be life-threatening due to electrolyte abnormality.
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(1) Potassium intake, stroke, and cardiovascular disease a meta-analysis of prospective studies by D'Elia L, Barba G, Cappuccio FP, Strazzullo P.(PubMed)
(2) Effect of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses by Aburto NJ, Hanson S, Gutierrez H, Hooper L, Elliott P, Cappuccio FP.(PubMed)

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