Potassium may lower blood pressure naturally

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Not eating enough potassium appears to be related to high blood pressure—independent of how much salt you eat—reported Dr. Susan Hedayati at the American Society of Nephrology annual meeting.  (Dr. Hedayati works at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where I trained, since it is affiliated with Parkland Hospital.)

I look forward to the published study.  If you read my blog often, your next question should be …

If these people take in more potassium, does their blood pressure come down? That information was not included in the article, so I am not sure if it was part of the study or not.  If past evidence can be a guide I think more potassium should, indeed, lower their blood pressure.

African-Americans have a high incidence of high blood pressure and don’t respond as well as other groups to our currently available blood pressure medicine.  Dr. Hedayati notes they tend not to eat a lot of potassium containing foods.  Since a significant amount of participants in this study were black, maybe we will gain some insight into this problem.

In my personal experience, I used to take blood pressure medicine and was a saltaholic.  I now use potassium-containing salt substitute, eat bananas daily and no longer need medicine to maintain normal blood pressure. Bananas are known for having potassium, but other foods have more. Check out our article on potassium and you may be surprised.

I really think it has helped, for me, as much as weight reduction and exercise.

Has anyone had a similar experience?

As always, this is just info, not treatment advice.  Never stop medications without your doctor’s approval.  High blood pressure is a silent killer (often there are no symptoms).  People with possible poor kidney function should not increase potassium intake unless OK’d by your doctor.  (Do I sound like the end of a drug commercial?)

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14 Responses to “Potassium may lower blood pressure naturally”

  1. Super Healthy Kids Says:

    I think the most important part of her report was that she said they ATE more potassium containing food! Taking supplements may not improve the symptoms (such as high blood pressure) as well as food containing potassium. In my opinion because the other nutrients contained in those food help our body to use and absorb the potassium. (something the supplement may not contain).

    Super Healthy Kidss last blog post..Salad Week

  2. FatFighterTV Says:

    Yay for bananas – love them, especially in my protein shakes!

    FatFighterTVs last blog post..News Nugget: Fast food ad ban could cut childhood obesity

  3. cathy Says:

    A reason to enjoy my sweet potato casserole even more this Thursday! Gotta like that!

    Great information on potassium that we’re going to use around here.

    cathys last blog post..Finding a HFCS-free jelly

  4. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Good point Super Healthy,

  5. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Me too, Fatfighter.
    I eat one almost every day.

  6. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Thanks Cathy,
    It is nice to be find things that taste good are good for you, isn’t it?

  7. DR Says:

    The Harvard Medical School references a 2005 study showing how potassium (supplements and food sources) will lower blood pressure – http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0705c.shtml

    DRs last blog post..Cornish Game Hen with Orange Balsamic Glaze

  8. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Thanks for the info and link DR
    I think the 2 interesting points in this new study are:
    The potassium intake has affect independent of salt intake and
    The low intake of potassium found in the African American diet may be one reason this group has such a problem with high blood pressure.

  9. Sagan Says:

    Excellent, all those bananas are paying off (I’m sure I eat enough of them to add up to amount to quite a bit:)).

    I wish that raw spinach had as many health benefits as cooked spinach. I just don’t like cooked spinach. But it seems like it has about 10 times as many health benefits as raw spinach.

    Very interesting study! Thanks for the info.

    Sagans last blog post..How to eat a pile of cookie dough

  10. Liz Rosenbaum Says:

    One of my favorite things to do with bananas is to roll them in crushed almonds and flaxseed. It’s a great combination. Thanks for the great article!

    Liz Rosenbaums last blog post..Boycotting The Clean Plate Club

  11. Blake Says:

    I love bananas in a smoothie after a long run or bike ride. Good to know potassium is good for lowering BP. Thanks for the great info.

    Blakes last blog post..Haiku Friday and Other Stuff to Read

  12. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    I am sure you eat well (?cookie dough). I do like cooked greens of any sort.
    If you don’t like something, usually there is an alternative, but you know that.

  13. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Liz, I have never tried that. I will have to. Sounds delicious.

  14. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Blake, I love smoothies that contain bananas also.

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