High quality evidence from a new study shows that increased potassium intake reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension (high blood pressure) and higher potassium intake was associated with a 24% lower risk of stroke.
22 randomized controlled trials (including 1606 participants) reporting blood pressure, blood lipids, catecholamine concentrations, and renal function and 11 cohort studies (127,038 participants) reporting all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, stroke, or coronary heart disease in adults were included in the study.
Increased potassium intake reduced systolic blood pressure by 3.49 (95% confidence interval 1.82 to 5.15) mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.96 (0.86 to 3.06) mm Hg in adults, an effect seen in people with hypertension but not in those without hypertension. Systolic blood pressure was reduced by 7.16 (1.91 to 12.41) mm Hg when the higher potassium intake was 90-120 mmol/day, without any dose response. Increased potassium intake had no significant adverse effect on renal function, blood lipids, or catecholamine concentrations in adults. An inverse statistically significant association was seen between potassium intake and risk of incident stroke (risk ratio 0.76, 0.66 to 0.89). Associations between potassium intake and incident cardiovascular disease (risk ratio 0.88, 0.70 to 1.11) or coronary heart disease (0.96, 0.78 to 1.19) were not statistically significant. In children, three controlled trials and one cohort study suggested that increased potassium intake reduced systolic blood pressure by a non-significant 0.28 (−0.49 to 1.05) mm Hg. These results suggest that increased potassium intake is potentially beneficial to most people without impaired renal handling of potassium for the prevention and control of elevated blood pressure and stroke.
How To Get Potassium From Foods
While supplements can be a good choice in certain situations, we always recommend food as the best source to increase intake of a certain vitamin, if possible. So what foods are a good source of Potassium?
All meats (red meat and chicken) and fish such as salmon, cod, flounder, and sardines are good sources of potassium. Soy products and veggie burgers are also good sources of potassium.