As the center of the circulatory system, the heart is often hailed as one of our most vital organs. Function would not be possible without this involuntary pump, which sends oxygenated blood throughout the body to facilitate everything from basic muscle movements to complex mental cognitions. When it comes to extending the life of you heart, new research suggests that the mineral Potassium is just what the doctor ordered.
Comments by Dr. Ted Herrmann:
As a Holistic Dentistry practice, Assure a Smile goes to great lengths to help patients stay on top of health news and medical research. We believe that “staying in the know” is a critical component of making informed health decisions. In this edition of the Miami Dentist Blog, we will explore new research that explains the role of Potassium in increasing overall heart health.
Sodium, Potassium, and the Heart
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported on a study lead by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that has been a whopping 15 years in the making. Throughout the study, researchers followed over 12,000 participants and measured the diet and cardiovascular health of each. In short, the study showed that (i):
1. High Sodium intake was associated with a higher rate of premature death from any cause, and
2. High Potassium intake was associated with a lower rate of premature death from any cause.
Researches took the study further, however, in an attempt to examine the specific relationship between sodium intake, potassium intake, and overall heart health. They found that:
1. Sodium intake alone was not tied with higher premature death rates,
2. High Potassium intake was linked with a lower incidence of heart related fatalities, and finally
3. Consuming more Potassium than Sodium significantly reduced premature death.
The Sodium-Potassium Ratio
In the wake of the Center for Disease Control’s most recent findings, it is safe to assume that decreasing Sodium intake while increasing Potassium intake may help prevent the chances of developing high blood pressure, heart problems, and even premature death.
To do so, researchers suggest that adults reduce daily Sodium intake to about 2,300 milligrams (about a teaspoon of salt) while increasing Potassium intake to about 4,700 milligrams per day. Some of the best sources for Potassium include:
Potatoes, 700-900 milligrams per serving
Spinach, 500 milligrams per each 100-gram serving
Prune Juice, 528 milligrams per 6 oz serving
Raisins, 598 milligrams per ½ cup serving
Bananas, 422 milligrams
Miami Dentist Blog Related Articles on Heart Health
Our Miami Dentistry Office has produced numerous online articles to help patients proactively increase their heart-healthiness. The following articles are recommended for those patients interested in learning more about the health of the heart and the circulatory system from a holistic wellness perspective:
Holistic Dentistry Links Periodontitis with Heart Disease: Periodontitis, better known as gum disease, is an infection that afflicts the gum tissue of the oral cavity. Leading researchers say that the same bacteria that causes Periodontitis may also cause heart disease.
Holistic Wellness and Brown Rice: The health benefits of brown rice are plentiful! In this edition of the Miami Dentist Blog, read more about this healthy carbohydrate’s ability to reduce blood pressure.
A Heartfelt Plea for Mercury Filling Removal: Dental amalgam, or traditional silver fillings, contain dangerously high levels of mercury. Join the Miami Dentist Blog for this article on mercury poisoning and the cardiac system.
Miami Dentist Asks Patients About Heart Disease: University of Minnesota Professor Mark Herzberg shares research with the American Association for the Advancement of Science on the link between gum disease and heart disease.
Dentistry News: Brushing Habits Tied to Heart Health: Are you brushing and flossing regularly? If not, you may be placing your heart at risk!