We all need some level of potassium in the blood, since this mineral we get from various foods allows the body to function normally. Currently, people who have suffered a heart attack are advised to check your potassium level is kept within a certain range, but a recent study questions the ceiling and suggests keeping a little lower. In this article we tell you more about this finding.
“Not too much, or so so”. This traditional, popular saying that means finding a balance is again tested in our diet. In this case it is the potassium, a mineral the body needs to function normally because, for example, helps nerves and muscles to communicate and work together, allowing nutrients to flow into cells and helps expel waste them, and to offset some of the harmful effects of sodium (salt) on blood pressure. To make matters worse, aid in protein synthesis, metabolism of carbohydrates and is essential in the heart’s electrical activity.
A recent study has shown that patients who have suffered a heart attack whose levels of potassium in the blood are maintained within a certain range, are less likely to die than those whose levels of the mineral are below or above that range.
Current recommendations for people who have suffered a heart attack is that the potassium level is maintained between 4 and 5 mEq/L (ie, in milliequivalents per liter) and sometimes reaches up to 5.5 mEq/L. However, this study was published in the Jan. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the mortality rate for patients who were between 3.5 and 4.5 mEq/L in the blood was similar, but greatly increased to exceed that level and, above all, to reach 5 mEq/L or more.
To reach these conclusions, researchers at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University in Atlanta, USA, analyzed data from nearly 39,000 patients who had suffered a heart attack and who were admitted to 67 hospitals in the country between 2000 and 2008, of which nearly seven percent died while hospitalized.
While more research is needed in this regard, experts believe that there is no need to increase potassium levels over 4.5 mEq/L in patients who have suffered a heart attack and is “reasonable” levels prevent low potassium (less than 3.5 mEq/L).
Most people who need to obtain the potassium foods. Do you know what are the main sources? These are located at:
- The greens and sprouts, like kale, spinach, broccoli and sprouts (or kale) in Brussels.
- Various fruits like grapes (and raisins or raisins), blackberries, apricots (peaches), plantains (bananas), dates and kiwi. Also citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits (and their juices).
- Root vegetables and tubers such as carrots, beets (beet or beets), potatoes (potatoes), sweet (sweet potato or yam) and squash (pumpkin).
- The tomato in all its forms: natural, sauce, puree or juice.
- The avocado (avocado), peas (peas, peas) and beans (beans, beans, beans) nuts and walnuts.
But remember that these are only some sources of potassium and there’s more we do not name here, lest they become so extensive. Therefore, it is rare that a person does not have enough potassium to feel good, but sometimes it may happen. In those cases, your doctor can tell you to take potassium supplements.
The opposite extreme, ie, too much potassium in the blood, can also be harmful, especially after suffering a heart attack (by what they found in this new study) or if you have kidney problems, for example, which can not be removed either potassium. If this is your case, check with a specialist and he or she checks with the special diet has recommended, in order to follow it properly and make sure you bring a healthy diet that can help in your recovery and keep the potassium level in the blood you need.