A new prospective longitudinal study published by the Jama Pediatrics and developed at Boston University shows that the health benefits of potassium-rich diets are numerous. The study, titled “Longitudinal Effects of Dietary Sodium and Potassium on Blood Pressure in Adolescent Girls” was conducted on 2185 teenage girls over a period of 10 years.
The study measured the comparative intake of sodium and potassium and the effects of the two in relation to blood pressure. Dr. Lynn L. Moors’s study can prove crucial for blood pressure control of the risk population.
During the study it was observed that more health benefits can be gained from a potassium-rich diet in comparison to a sodium-reduced one. Those girls that had an intake of 2400 mg or more of potassium each day had critically lower blood pressure than the ones that had a lower intake. This trend can continue well into adulthood as it was discovered that such a diet can reduce the risk of death or cardiovascular disease.
It may be that the results are indicative of healthy diet options, as the high levels of potassium intake mostly result from the consumption of vegetable and fruit. The body of a teenager requires higher potassium intake than that of an adult. Sticking to the right diet thus offers not only protection of low blood pressure levels in adulthood, but also regulation of the heartbeat and lower risk of muscle loss or cardiovascular complications.
To perfect the guidelines for a potassium-rich diet, it is indicated to consume such foods as potatoes, white beans, apples, bananas, coconut or broccoli.
“This study emphasizes the need to develop methods for estimating salt sensitivity to be used in future studies of high-risk populations and points to the potential health risks associated with the existing low dietary potassium intakes among US children and adolescents,” Mrs. Moore concluded.
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