by: Paul Fassa
(NaturalNews) Recent studies have determined that higher potassium levels lower stroke risks. But this isn't all what potassium is about. It's not an often mentioned mineral. But potassium deficiencies can kill you. That's why it's important to ensure adequate potassium intake.
The British medical journal The Lancet reported the findings of a recent Swedish study on potassium's ability to reduce stroke risk. Strokes occur over 750,000 times annually in America. Over half of those occurrences are first time strokes. Many of those who survive their first stroke can expect a second stroke, which is often fatal.
The same journal report also mentioned increasing potassium levels to lower blood pressure. The latter seems to have been known for some time. But when is the last time a doctor told you or anyone else with high blood pressure to increase potassium intake? Usually people with high blood pressure are advised to lessen their salt intake and take pharmaceutical medications.
This has proven to be bogus, especially for those who consume whole, pure sea salt that is not processed. And medications have side effects that demand more medications.
Then there's the aspirin a day recommendation to minimize cardiovascular disasters. Epidemiological studies indicate there's some merit with that approach, if you don't mind the side effect of a bleeding stomach or GI tract. But one a day aspirins increase stroke risk.
More About Potassium
Potassium is a vital electrolyte. It is important for electrical conductivity within our nervous system and for muscle function and formation. The heart is a muscle as well. So potassium's influence of both electrical nerve impulses and muscle strength apply to heart health considerably. It's estimated that people with high potassium blood levels have half the risk for heart attacks than those with normal levels of potassium.
Mostly located within our cells, potassium is the third most prevalent mineral in our bodies, exceeding even sodium. Potassium interacts with sodium for the above functions. It also uses sodium to balance our water levels. More importantly, it assists our body's pH buffering to maintain a healthy slightly alkaline balance. This is critical to immunity and overall health.
Potassium helps dissolve excess calcium, preventing kidney stone formations and calcified tissues. Not to worry about too much potassium. Excess potassium is easily eliminated by the kidneys. Extreme potassium deficiency causes death. Those who use cesium to effectively treat cancer are advised to have someone monitor their potassium levels. Cesium depletes potassium.
Potassium Deficiency Symptoms
Extreme potassium deficiency is known as hypokalemia. It's very rare, usually caused by extreme diarrhea and vomiting, or fatigue from intense exercise without sufficient fluid intake. Bulimics are prone to at least mild hypokalemia.
Moderate hypokalemia manifests as muscle cramping, muscular twitching, irregular heart rhythms, irritability, and constipation due to intestinal paralysis. Supplementation usually handles moderate hypokalemia. As mentioned earlier, potassium supplementation must be taken while undergoing cesium cancer treatments.
Otherwise, there are plenty of potassium rich foods from which to choose to ensure your potassium blood levels are high enough to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
"Everyone knows" bananas are a good source of potassium. But a cup of Lima beans or a single serving of cantaloupe offers twice as much potassium as a banana. Fresh orange juice and potatoes contain twice as much potassium as well. Even salmon, almonds, tomatoes, and milk contain more potassium than bananas, though not twice as much.
Of course, all of the above should be organic, and raw milk is much better than pasteurized milk. Potassium doesn't get much press or medical attention, but it should have yours.