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  • Essential hypertension is nothing more than a potassium deficiency


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Saturday, May 11, 2019 1:22 pm Email this article

    95% of cases of high blood pressure are called “Essential Hypertension”, which, by definition, is high blood pressure of “unknown cause”.

    What better excuse to give you a drug or two or three or four than to say, “We have no idea what is causing your high blood pressure!”

    I believe that Essential Hypertension is complete and total NONSENSE!

    I believe that 99.9% of cases of Essential Hypertension are caused by a potassium deficiency.

    Here is how I came to realize this.

     

    My father given blood pressure drugs for 40 years

    My father was given blood pressure drugs for about 40 years, from the time he was about 40 until he died at 81.

    My mother given blood pressure drugs for 17 years

    My mother was given blood pressure drugs for the last 17 years of her life (1994-2011).

    So I thought high blood pressure “ran in my family”.

    (I now think the idea that high blood pressure “runs in your family” is nonsense. I believe that it is nothing more than a potassium deficiency.)

    My blood pressure in 2000: 140/72 mm Hg

    By 2000, my blood pressure had crept up over the years to about 140/72 mm Hg.

    I thought that eventually I would have to go on a blood pressure drug.

    1997 study showed potassium supplement lowered blood pressure by 15/8 mm Hg

    But I did some research and found a study which gave a potassium supplement to older people and it lowered their blood pressure by 15/8 mm Hg.

    (Fotherby MD, and Potter JF. Long-term potassium supplementation lowers blood pressure in elderly hypertensive subjects. Int J Clin Pract, 1997 Jun; 51(4): 219-222. See the abstract here.)

    This study used Potassium Chloride, but I got Potassium Bicarbonate instead.

    Potassium bicarbonate superior to potassium chloride

    I believe that Potassium Bicarbonate is superior to Potassium Chloride because through human evolution we consumed a lot MORE potassium, a lot MORE bicarbonate, a lot LESS sodium and a lot LESS chloride as noted by researchers at University of California, San Francisco (Frassetto, 2001).

    This tells me that potassium bicarbonate is the potassium supplement to use, NOT potassium chloride.

    (Frassetto L, Morris RCJ, Sellmeyer DE, Todd K, and Sebastian A. Diet, evolution and aging—the pathophysiologic effects of the post-agricultural inversion of the potassium-to-sodium and base-to-chloride ratios in the human diet. Eur J Nutr, 2001 Oct; 40(5): 200-213. See abstract here. It is a fabulous paper.)

    Potassium bicarbonate lowered my blood pressure by 20 points, from 140 to 120

    So I started taking roughly 2,000 mg of potassium (1/2 teaspoon twice a day) in the form of Potassium Bicarbonate and it lowered my blood pressure by about 20 points, from about 140 to 120 mm Hg.

    It worked so well for me that I realized that…

    My father never needed blood pressure drugs for 40 years!

    My mother never needed blood pressure drugs for 17 years!

    All they needed was some potassium bicarbonate!

    This was proven in my mother in 2002 when my mother was 72, when, for about a month, she took the same dose of potassium bicarbonate that I did with the approval of her doctor.

    Potassium Bicarbonate worked just as well for my mother (124/77 and 123/78 mm Hg) as it did for me... and then her doctor put her back on a blood pressure drug!

    I wanted to scream!

    I learned nine (9) things about doctors in the last 17 years of my parents’s life.

    Three (3) of the things I learned is that:

    1. Doctors don’t know sh*t about nutrition.

    2. Doctors know nothing about nutritional therapies.

    3. Doctors think the answer to every problem is a drug!

    If you don’t know sh*t about nutrition, and you know nothing about nutritional therapies, what other options do doctors have than to give you a drug?

    I believe that in nearly ALL cases of Essential Hypertension, there is NO need for drugs!

    ALL people need is some potassium bicarbonate!

    Average potassium intake of 159 Stone Age Diets: 15,600 mg per day!

    Here is evidence to support this idea that all most people need to lower their blood pressure is more potassium.

    Researchers at the University of California, San Fransisco (UCSF) analyzed 159 Stone Age diets and found that the average potassium intake was 15,600 mg of potassium per day versus 2,700 mg per day for adults in the US today (Sebastian, 2006)!

    (Sebastian A, Frassetto LA, Sellmeyer DE, and Morris RCJ. The evolution-informed optimal dietary potassium intake of human beings greatly exceeds current and recommended intakes. Semin Nephrol, 2006 Nov; 26(6): 447-453. See the abstract here.)

    We evolved consuming 5-6 times as much potassium as we do today!

    We evolved consuming roughly 5-6 times MORE potassium than we consume today! (15,600 mg vs 2,700 mg) and 10 times LESS sodium, but the research suggests that if you get enough potassium, you don’t have to worry about the sodium. 

    I believe that potassium bicarbonate is vastly superior to ALL blood pressure drugs because potassium bicarbonate is giving the body exactly what it needs—more potassium and more bicarbonate! 

    Do potassium supplement cause elevated blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia)?

    My impression is that most doctors are afraid of potassium supplements because they are afraid they might cause elevated blood potassium levels which can be dangerous.

    So the question is do potassium supplements cause dangerously elevated potassium levels (hyperkalemia) in the blood?

    NO!

    Six (6) studies which had people consume between 7,000 and 15,600 mg of potassium per day—a huge amount of potassium compared to the normal 2700 mg the average American consumes today—found blood potassium levels were between 4.0 and 4.6 mEq per liter.

    Normal blood potassium levels are 3.5 to 5.0 mEq per liter.

    So, NO, consuming large amounts of potassium did NOT raise blood potassium levels to dangerous levels in healthy people.

    That is why I believe that Essential Hypertension is nothing more than a potassium deficiency.

    Some people need to be cautious about taking potassium supplements

    The authors of this paper note that some people need to be cautious about taking potassium supplements.

    The write:

    One obviously must exercise caution in supplementing potassium in individuals with certain underlying conditions, such as hyperkalemia, chronic renal insufficiency, adrenal insufficiency, aldosterone deficiency, and use of certain medications: angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II–receptor blockers, potassium-sparing diuretics, cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Individuals without such contraindications tolerate chronic large potassium loads without developing hyperkalemia (Table 4) because the human kidney excretes chronic potassium (and bicarbonate) loads with great facility and prodigious capacity.

    The Institute of Medicine has not set a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for potassium intake. They reported:

    In otherwise healthy individuals (ie, individuals without impaired urinary potassium excretion due to a medical condition or drug therapy), there is no evidence that a high level of potassium from foods has adverse effects. Therefore, a [upper limit] for potassium from foods has not been set . . . Fruits and vegetables, particularly leafy greens, vine fruit [a.k.a., vegetable fruit] (such as tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, and pumpkin), and root vegetables, are good sources of potassium and bicarbonate precursors. Although meat, milk, and cereal prod- ucts contain potassium, they do not contain enough bi- carbonate precursors to balance their acid-forming precursors, such as sulfur-containing amino acids.

    Reference

    Sebastian A, Frassetto LA, Sellmeyer DE, and Morris RCJ. The evolution-informed optimal dietary potassium intake of human beings greatly exceeds current and recommended intakes. Semin Nephrol, 2006 Nov; 26(6): 447-453.

    Author’s Contact Info

    Anthony Sebastian, MD
    Professor of Medicine
    Division of Nephrology
    Department of Medicine, School of Medicine
    University of California, San Francisco
    San Francisco, CA, 94143-0126 USA
    Phone: 415-476-4336
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Lynda A. Frassetto, M.D
    Professor
    Division of Nephrology
    Department of Medicine, School of Medicine
    University of California, San Francisco
    San Francisco, CA, 94143-0126 USA
    (415) 476-6143 phone
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    R. Curtis Morris Jr., M.D.
    Professor Emeritus, Medicine
    Division of Nephrology
    Department of Medicine, School of Medicine
    University of California, San Francisco
    San Francisco, CA, 94143-0126 USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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