Posted on Dec 17, 2019, 4 p.m.
According to a study published in the journal Nutrients potassium consumption is a previously unrecognized predictor of weight loss based on their findings showing significant reductions in BMI correlating with high potassium intake.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University and Ichilov Hospital conducted a study involving 68 participants with the average age of 51 who met the ATPIII criteria for having metabolic syndrome, who participated in a 1 year intensive multidisciplinary intervention program that included nutritional recommendations for following a low calorie, high protein Mediterranean style diet.
Both pre and post intervention assessments show participants who increased potassium intake by 25% experienced above average reductions in BMI, while those who increased potassium intake by 3% experience lower than average reductions.
“This is the first study to show a direct connection between potassium consumption and weight loss. The results show that potassium is indeed a key factor in weight loss,” said lead author Dr. Brurya Tal.
It was noted that their novel findings align with those of previous studies, such as their citing of 3 different reports from Japan and Korea that suggest high potassium intake may be linked to lower prevalence of obesity or metabolic syndrome. The team recommends that additional research is required to further investigate the relationship between weight loss and potassium, and suggest that trials are required to determine whether or not an increase in dietary potassium intake will be able to improve weight outcomes on those with obesity or metabolic syndrome.
Potassium is an essential macro mineral that helps with maintenance of the body’s water and pH balance, it also plays roles in several important biochemical processes including synthesis of protein and glycogen.
According to NHANES the average American only consumes around 2,640 mg of potassium a day which is lower than the 3,510 mg recommended by W.H.O. Experts suggest the easiest way to augment potassium levels is to consume certain fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, avocado, bananas, melons, dates, peas, pumpkin, grapefruit, apricots, leafy greens, nuts, mushrooms, whole grains, poultry, and fish.
Potassium can also be supplemented, but the best way remains to be obtained via diet. One should be careful not to exceed the recommended intake of potassium as too much of this important mineral in the blood can cause irregular heart beat, heart attack, and even death.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.