Potassium chloride may benefit your heart health, according to researchers from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine of the University of London. In this trial, participants who received potassium chloride supplements experienced significant improvements to their cardiovascular system, specifically left ventricle function. The left ventricle is one of the four chambers of the heart and noted to be the powerhouse, because it pumps blood to the rest of the body. The participants’ blood pressure also dropped slightly with this electrolyte supplement.
It also helps your muscles to move, your nerves to work, and your kidneys to filter blood.
Your body depends on the mineral potassium to help control the electrical balance of your heart as well as metabolize carbohydrates and build muscle.
Low potassium levels can cause muscle weakness and heart rhythm disturbances. On the other hand, too much potassium can cause dangerous heartbeat irregularities and even sudden death. If you have heart failure, you need to pay close attention to how much potassium you get each day. What’s more, some heart failure drugs can cause your body to excrete too much potassium, while others can cause your body to retain too much potassium.
Your doctor can tell you how the medications you need will affect your potassium levels. You’ll likely need to have your potassium level checked regularly to be sure it is within a good range for you.
Potassium doesn’t treat or prevent heart disease. But getting enough potassium can help your heart health in several ways:
Better blood pressure. In a study of people with high blood pressure, taking potassium supplements appears to have a blood-pressure-lowering effect, — the top number — by about 8 points. A diet high in fruits and vegetables and fat-free or low-fat dairy foods can help cut systolic blood pressure by more than 10 points in people with high blood pressure. The supplementation with a moderate daily dose of potassium chloride reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings in hypertensive patients by 4.4 and 2.5 millimeters of mercury, respectively.
Cholesterol. There’s no direct link between potassium and cholesterol. But many diets that lower cholesterol are also high in potassium. So when you get enough potassium, you’ll probably eat more fruits and veggies, which are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. This will help your cholesterol levels and lower your chance of developing heart disease.
Heart rhythms problems. Potassium enables your heart to beat. So, if you have heart rhythm problems, potassium may be a key. Your doctor can advise you on that. A potassium check might be part of your routine doctor visits.
The health benefits of potassium ensure heart health. It plays an irreplaceable role in regulating the functions of the metabolism and keeping the heart running smoothly.
Before taking potassium chloride or any supplement, please consult your doctor first.