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Signs Of Low Potassium

Can osteoporosis be one of the signs of low potassium? Excessive meat, soda and coffee in a diet may create an acid imbalance that erodes our bone health.

Potassium rich foods can help to maintain the necessary acid-alkaline balance for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

In North America, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of potassium is 4,700 mg-the equivalent of 13 half-cup servings of fruits and vegetables a day. But research shows that the average adult intake is only 2,300 mg for women and 3,250 mg for men. The North American diet is renowned for its emphasis on meat, soda pop and coffee which not only disrupt the body’s acid-alkaline balance but may cause minerals to be drawn from the bones.

Potassium not only neutralizes the bone depleting acids but also prevents too much calcium from being lost through the urine. In fact, dietary potassium can offset the loss of calcium to such an extent that eating one medium baked potato or one large banana can conserve about 60 mg of calcium.

So how can we increase the potassium in our diet? Here are a few of the best sources:

Vegetables and Legumes

  • Tomato Paste (1/2 cup) 1221 mg
  • Swiss Chard (1 cup) 961 mg
  • Potato (medium, baked with skin) 844 mg
  • Avocado (1/2 cup) 680 mg
  • Lima Beans (1/2 cup) 581 mg
  • Pinto beans (1/cup) 574 mg

Fruit

  • Cantaloupe (1/2 melon) 825 mg
  • Prune Juice (1 cup) 600 mg
  • Orange Juice (1 cup) 469 mg
  • Banana (1 medium) 440 mg

Grains

  • Bran buds (1 cup) 1080 mg

Dairy

  • Yoghurt (1 cup) 531 mg

Potassium supplements in the form of potassium citrate and chelated potassium can also help decrease urinary loss of calcium.

(Readers interested in potassium research may be interested in the following studies- Brown, S.E. and Jaffe, R. 2000. Acid-alkaline balance and its effect on bone health. International Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2(6), 7-15. and Frassetto, L. et al. 2005. Long-term persistence of the urine calcium-lowering effect of potassium bicarbonate in post-menopausal women. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 90(2), 831-834.)

To learn more about supplements that address the signs of low potassium... visit Osteoporosis Treatment Guidelines.