Stroke - Preventative Properties with Potassium - Wow...
by Bruce Brightman - founder, LifeSource Vitamins
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in Western
societies. The most common type is caused by a blockage of one of the
arteries that supplies oxygen to the brain, usually as a result of
hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Risk factors for stroke are
similar to those for other types of cardiovascular disease: high blood
pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, cigarette smoking, obesity,
diabetes, and lack of exercise. Eating more potassium has been shown in
both animal and human studies both to lower blood pressure and to reduce
stroke risk. The stroke-preventing effect of potassium, however, is not due
entirely to its effect on blood pressure, because potassium is beneficial
even for people with normal blood pressure.
Blood platelets appear to be a key factor in stroke development. Platelets
are blood cells that play a role in normal blood clotting. Through a
complex process, platelets can also promote the development of
atherosclerosis, especially if they are "overactive," as they are in some
people with heart and blood vessel disease. Drugs that inhibit platelet
aggregation, such as aspirin and clopidogrel (Plavixr), are often
prescribed by doctors for people who are at high risk of having a stroke.
See All LifeSource Vitamins Potassium Products, Articles, and Studies:
In the new study, a group of healthy men and women supplemented their usual
diet with potassium for three days, in the amount of 2,340 mg per 70 kg
(154 pounds) of body weight per day. That amount of potassium is similar to
the level in a typical diet. After three days, there was a significant
decrease in platelet activity. The effect of the potassium supplement was
more pronounced in white people than in black people, and was statistically
significant only in whites. The difference in potassium effect between
racial groups may have been due to the fact that black participants were
somewhat deficient in potassium at the start of the study, and that three
days of supplementation were not enough to replenish their potassium
African Americans have particularly high rates of both high blood pressure
and stroke, and they also tend to consume less potassium in their diet than
whites do. The differences in disease risk among white and black people may
be due in part to genetic factors. However, environmental influences are
undoubtedly involved as well. The results of the new study suggest that
increasing potassium intake (by eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and
whole grains) may be a simple way to reduce the risk of having a stroke.
Bruce Brightman - Founder
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