Population, interventional and molecular mechanism that investigated the effects of dietary sodium and potassium on hypertension were explored in the study.
It was found that several population studies demonstrated that higher dietary potassium, such as that which is found in beans, was associated with lower blood pressure, regardless of sodium intake.
Professor McDonough and colleagues reviewed recent studies in rodent models, from her own lab and others, to illustrate the mechanisms for potassium benefit.
These studies indicated that the body does a balancing act that uses sodium to maintain close control of potassium levels in the blood, which is critical to normal heart, nerve and muscle function.
“When dietary potassium is high, kidneys excrete more salt and water, which increases potassium excretion,” McDonough said.
“Eating a high potassium diet is like taking a diuretic.”