[Effects of Potassium] From Swelling Removal to Blood Pressure Management, 3 Benefits of Potassium

[Effects of Potassium] From Swelling Removal to Blood Pressure Management, 3 Benefits of Potassium

Dec 03, 2023KimSunhyo

[Effects of Potassium] From Swelling Removal to Blood Pressure Management, 3 Benefits of Potassium

What is ‘This’ That is Especially Effective in Removing Swelling
This content is health information about ingredients and not directly related to a specific product.
Effects of Potassium
1. Reduces blood pressure
2. Reduces cardiovascular disease mortality
3. Reduces risk of developing kidney stones

Hello, I am Jinny, a pharmacist.

Are there people who tend to get swollen easily, or who are concerned about swelling ahead of an important day? If so, please pay attention to ‘potassium’ that we are introducing today.

Our body has homeostasis, which means it always tries to stay in the same state. The phenomenon of swelling when eating salty foods also follows this principle of homeostasis. When we consume too much sodium, water is retained in our body instead of escaping from it in order to maintain a constant sodium concentration in the body.

Taking potassium at this time will help remove swelling. Potassium and sodium compete with each other in the body, so as potassium intake increases, sodium is excreted through urine. If sodium excretion increases, the unnecessary water held by the sodium will naturally also be excreted.

Foods such as pumpkin, red beans, and bananas, which many people eat to relieve swelling, are actually foods rich in potassium. However, potassium has quite a few health benefits beyond just eliminating puffiness. Now, let’s take a closer look at the research behind the importance of potassium intake.

1. Reduces Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a risk factor that greatly increases the risk of developing various cardiovascular diseases and death. According to statistics released in 2022, as many as one in three adults have high blood pressure. Nevertheless, awareness of the risks of high blood pressure and proper management methods is still lacking.

To manage high blood pressure, you must consume ‘enough’ potassium. Sodium increases the risk of developing high blood pressure and complications, and as mentioned earlier, potassium intake promotes sodium excretion.

“Dietary potassium intake has been demonstrated to significantly lower blood pressure (BP) in a dose-responsive manner in both hypertensive and non-hypertensive patients in observational studies, clinical trials, and several meta-analyses.”

Reference :  Houston, M. C. (2011). The importance of potassium in managing hypertension. Current hypertension reports, 13(4), 309-317.
2. Reduces Cardiovascular Disease Mortality

Potassium also protects heart health. It has been proven through several academic studies that the higher the intake of potassium, the lower the mortality rate from cardiovascular disease. This is believed to be highly related to the blood pressure reducing effect of potassium [1].
[1] Connie M. Weaver. (2013). Potassium and Health. Advances in Nutrition, 4(3), 368-377.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States also paid attention to this aspect of potassium and said, “Increasing the amount of potassium and reducing the amount of sodium in the diet may help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.”

There is a paper published by a research team at Korea's Severance Hospital in November last year regarding the relationship between potassium intake and cardiovascular disease mortality in Koreans. About 140,000 adults in Korea were followed for 10 years and the following conclusions were drawn

“Potassium intake is inversely related to total mortality and mortality from cardiovascular disease.”

Reference :  Kwon, Y. J., Lee, H. S., Park, G., & Lee, J. W. (2022). Association between dietary sodium, potassium, and the sodium-to-potassium ratio and mortality: A 10-year analysis
3. Reduces Risk of Developing Kidney Stones

Kidney stones, which are stones in the kidney, are a relatively common kidney disease. It is more common in men and often occurs after the age of 30. It is characterized by a sudden and very severe pain in the side.

Potassium intake has also been linked to the prevention of these kidney stones. Calcium is the main ingredient in 80% of kidney stones. When the amount of calcium in urine increases, it becomes easy for calcium to clump together and form stones. Therefore, consuming enough potassium, which prevents calcium from being excreted in urine, can reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.

“The higher your potassium intake, the lower your risk of stones.”

Reference :  Ferraro, P. M., Mandel, E. I., Curhan, G. C., Gambaro, G., & Taylor, E. N. (2016). Dietary Protein and Potassium, Diet-Dependent Net Acid Load, and Risk of Incident Kidney Stones. Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN, 11(10), 1834–1844.

Today we looked at the importance of potassium intake. Perhaps because potassium is relatively less known than other minerals, potassium intake is generally very insufficient. According to <2020 Korean Nutrient Intake Standards>, 88.6% of Korean women in their 20s and 77.7% of women in their 30s and 40s were found to consume less than sufficient potassium intake. On the other hand, we eat a lot of sodium, which is potassium's rival. Koreans’ sodium intake is 1.6 times the WHO recommended standard.

Therefore, to prevent swelling and enjoy various other health benefits, it would be a good idea to pay more attention to your potassium intake. If you inevitably eat foods high in sodium, it would be a good idea to balance it by consuming foods or nutritional supplements that contain a lot of potassium.

I hope you have a healthy day both physically and mentally. This was Jinny.

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