Alternate Potassium Compound Lowers Blood Pressure

Published Online: Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Potassium chloride (KCl) has long been used for regulating blood pressure, but British scientists have discovered that potassium citrate has a similar effect. It can be found in fruits and vegetables. Until recently, studies of the effect of potassium on blood pressure have used KCl and placebo, but now other potassium salts have proven effective.

Researchers recorded the blood pressure of 14 adults with hypertension—approximately 140 mm Hg/90 mm Hg. They administered KCl one week, waited a week, and then administered potassium citrate for a week. At the beginning of the study, the average blood pressure was 151 mm Hg/93 mm Hg. After taking KCl, the pressure dropped to 140 mm Hg/88 mm Hg, and after taking potassium citrate it fell to 138 mm Hg/88 mm Hg. Study author Dr. Graham A. MacGregor concluded, "These results?indicate that potassium does not need to be given in the form of chloride to lower blood pressure. This supports the evidence that the main effect of increasing fruit and vegetable intake on blood pressure is due to the increase in potassium intake."

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