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3700 mg of potassium in the form of potassium chloride lowered blood pressure by 11/5 mm Hg
Tuesday, June 11, 2019 10:01 am Email this article
3700 mg of potassium per day in the form of potassium chloride lowered blood pressure in one (1) week by 11/5 mm Hg from 151/93 to 140/88 mm Hg according to a study from researchers in the Blood Pressure Unit at St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London, England.
Subjects: 14 people with hypertension
This was a small study which involved 14 people with hypertension.
There were 11 men (9 white) and 3 women (2 white).
The average age was 51 years, and the average body mass index was 30.
No blood pressure drugs for 1-2 months
“Patients had not received previous treatment [for blood pressure] or treatment had been stopped for at least 4 weeks or 8 weeks for patients using diuretics before the study,” the paper notes.
Subjects had a relatively high potassium intake to start with, roughly 4300 mg per day
“Unlike most of the previous potassium supplementation trials, which were performed in individuals with a low potassium intake, eg, 60 mmol/d on average [roughly 2300 mg per day], our study was in individuals with a relatively high potassium intake as indicated by a baseline 24-hour urinary potassium excretion of 81 mmol,” the authors of the paper note.
[1 mmol = 39 mg of potassium, so 81 mmol = roughly 3200 mg of potassium.]
But on average, roughly only 74% of potassium intake is excreted in the urine (in whites) as noted by Turban (2008).
(Turban S, Miller ERr, Ange B, and Appel LJ. Racial differences in urinary potassium excretion. J Am Soc Nephrol, 2008 Jul; 19(7): 1396-1402.)
Which means we need to multiply 3200 mg (urinary excretion) X 1.35 [ 1.0 divided by 0.74 = 1.35 ] which means their average dietary intake before the study began was roughly 4300 mg of potassium per day. (3200 mg X 1.35 = roughly 4300 mg)
If they had taken the potassium for a couple of months, my guess is that blood pressure would have dropped even more
My guess is that had they continued taking the potassium supplement for a couple of months, that blood pressure would have dropped even more.
When I [Larry Hobbs] started taking roughly 2000 mg of potassium per day in the form of potassium bicarbonate in 2000, it took a couple of months for my blood pressure to drop to its lowest levels.
A 2008 study by Braschi and Naismith found that the drop in blood pressure “increased with duration of the supplement” of potassium citrate or potassium chloride for the entire 6 weeks of the study, which was similar to my (Larry Hobbs’s) experience.
A 2008 study by Braschi and Naismith found that blood pressure continued to drop over a period of 6 weeks when subjects were given roughly 1200 mg of potassium in the form of potassium citrate or potassium chloride.
This 2008 study found that giving 1200 mg of potassium per day, mostly to people with normal blood pressure, lowered blood pressure from 115/85 at the start of the study to 110/81 mm Hg after 3 weeks, and 108/80 mm Hg after 6 weeks.
(Braschi A, and Naismith DJ. The effect of a dietary supplement of potassium chloride or potassium citrate on blood pressure in predominantly normotensive volunteers. Br J Nutr, 2008 Jun; 99(6): 1284-1292. )
Both of these studies is more evidence that Essential Hypertension — hypertension of “unknown cause”— is really just a potassium deficiency
Both of these studies that we looked at:
- Potassium supplements lowered blood pressure in people with a relatively high potassium intake to start with (4300 mg per day);
- Potassium supplements lowered blood pressure in people with normal blood pressure (115/85 mm Hg);
is more evidence for the idea that Essential Hypertension — hypertension of “unknown cause”— is really just a potassium deficiency because humans evolved consuming 5-6 times more potassium than we do today (an average of 15,600 mg of potassium per day in Stone Age diets compared to an average of roughly 2700 mg per day in the US.
An article about humans evolving on a diet which contained 5-6 times more potassium than we consume today (15,600 mg vs 2700 mg) is posted here.
An article suggesting that essential hypertension is really just a potassium deficiency is posted here.
An article summarizing six (6) studies which found that healthy humans consuming 7,000 to 15,600 mg of potassium per day did not cause elevated blood potassium (hyperkalemia) is posted here.
He FJ, Markandu ND, Coltart R, Barron J, and MacGregor GA. Effect of short-term supplementation of potassium chloride and potassium citrate on blood pressure in hypertensives. Hypertension, 2005 Apr; 45(4): 571-574.
Author’s Contact Info
G. A. MacGregor
Blood Pressure Unit
St. George’s Hospital Medical School
London, SW17 0RE, UK
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