The evidence is very strong and very consistent that a higher potassium intake may blunt the effect of excess salt on blood pressure. And most Americans get too much salt. You can get as much as a 3 to 5 point reduction in systolic blood pressure if you get more potassium in your daily diet. In people who reached a total of 3,500 to 4,700 milligrams a day of potassium, the drop was 7 points. Potassium’s effect is bigger in people who have higher blood pressure, bigger in older people, bigger in people who are consuming a lot of salt, and bigger in the African American population.
What’s more, a higher potassium intake is very closely linked to a lower risk of stroke. In a 2013 meta-analysis of nine studies, people who consumed the most potassium from foods had a 30 percent lower risk of stroke.
Reprinted with permission by NutritionAction.com, Center for Science and Public Interest.
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