08-17-20 Is Potassium Important for Good Health? Carolyn Dean MD ND
Our listeners are starting to ask me as many questions about potassium as they do about magnesium, so I think this is an excellent topic for today’s radio show. I will discuss potassium and its importance for good health, whether supplementing with potassium is a good idea, why there’s only 99 mg of potassium in a dietary supplement, and how to add potassium to your diet.
Is Potassium Important for Good Health? In my eBooks, Invisible Minerals: Part II – ReMyte & ReCalcia and Pico Potassium, I talk about the importance of potassium:
Potassium is the third most abundant element in the human body. Calcium is first and phosphorous is second. Potassium is mostly found inside the cells to the tune of 98 percent, whereas 98 percent of sodium is found outside the cells. The intracellular-to-extracellular dance of potassium and sodium helps create and conduct electrical impulses in muscle cells and nerves. Calcium and magnesium do a similar dance.
Potassium deficiency leads to muscle cramps and arrhythmias, but to a lesser extent than magnesium deficiency, the reason being that potassium deficiency is less common than magnesium deficiency.
Since 98 percent of potassium is found inside the cells, measuring potassium in the blood can be misleading. Potassium is an important electrolyte for pH balance and fluid retention. Like most other minerals, it activates various enzymes; the most surprising one is related to metabolizing sugar.
The Relationship between Potassium and Magnesium
A potassium deficiency may be found on a blood test but not show a magnesium deficiency. If you have low magnesium and low potassium, your potassium won’t improve when you take potassium supplements unless you also take magnesium. Because doctors don’t use an accurate test for magnesium, they never find the underlying problem. Additionally, low potassium levels can increase urinary magnesium loss, and magnesium deficiency exacerbates a potassium deficiency.
The RDA for potassium is 4-5 grams (not milligrams) daily, because potassium levels in the body are so high. You can get potassium through your diet, especially if you eat a lot of vegetables. But you can’t boil them and throw away the cooking water which contains all the potassium. Here is a list of some potassium-rich foods:
- all green, leafy vegetables
- citrus fruit
Should I Take Potassium Supplements?
In my naturopathic training and when I was researching my Magnesium Miracle book, l learned that potassium has very important interactions with magnesium, however I was still reluctant to recommend potassium supplements because of the FDA ruled that a potassium supplement can only contain 99 mgs of potassium. Instead, I encouraged people to make potassium broth and eat lots of vegetables, thinking that would be enough.
I changed my mind about potassium supplements when I realized some of my customers with atrial fibrillation, even though they were becoming saturated with ReMag, still had symptoms, which I attributed to low potassium. Many of my customers were on the Keto diet and had cut back on their vegetable carbs. Some people were recommending cream of tartar powder for its high potassium content – but I was concerned that they wouldn’t know how much potassium they were taking and could overdose.
Potassium in ReMyte There are only 98 mg of potassium in 1.5 tsp of ReMyte per the FDA dosing guidelines. For the rest of your potassium I depended on potassium in the diet especially potassium broth. However, the current high meat high fat diets are very low in potassium and people are suffering. So…
What If I Need More Potassium?
Exactly. Years of experience show me that many of our customers needed more potassium. When I decided to make Pico Potassium, I realized all I needed to do was concentrate the stabilized ion of potassium chloride that we have in ReMyte. On our FDA-compliant label, the dose on Pico Potassium is 99 mg per ¼ tsp. I recommend that if someone is not getting 4,700 mg of potassium in their diet; if their blood level of potassium isn’t in the high normal range; if they have heart rhythm symptoms even when they are saturated with 2-4 tsp of ReMag a day; or if they are on a diuretic, they can take Pico Potassium.
I think the cronometer app at cronometer.com is a great tool for our customers to learn how much potassium they are getting in their diet and therefore how much more they need to take as a supplement. Pico Potassium is likely absorbed about 2X as much as food or other supplements. I developed this understanding because our ReMag absorption study shows that magnesium is picometer in size and is fully absorbed at the cellular level. We have not yet done a Pico Potassium absorption study but the process for both minerals is the same so the absorption should be similar. So, if you are deficient in your diet by 1200mg, you would take 1.5 tsp of Pico Potassium. 1 tsp = 394mg.
Here is a report from a customer taking our Pico Potassium:
I’m on my 3rd day of Pico Potassium and I don’t how to express it other than to say, I have reached another positive level of wellness, another level of calmness, in spite of the turmoil around us. Please convey my gratitude to the wonderful Dr Dean and her Team for this product. And it also tastes good as well. What a combination they all make together. I suddenly love my water.
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