Sodium/potassium ratio important for health

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Sodium/potassium ratio important for health

Post by freckles1880 » July 13th, 2011, 7:20 am

I would guess that this is one of the reasons my Cardiologist has me on Klor-Con 10mg twice a day along with my diuretics. I like the comment in the next to last paragraph about making the fruits and vegetables cheaper. What does that really have to do with it? Freckles1880 ... _Heartwire

Sodium/potassium ratio important for health
JULY 11, 2011 | Lisa Nainggolan
Atlanta, GA - People with the highest ratio of sodium to potassium in their diet had a significantly increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared with those who had the lowest ratio of sodium to potassium intake over a 15-year follow-up, a new study has shown [1]. Dr Quanhe Yang (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA) and colleagues report their findings in the July 11, 2011 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
"This is the first large, nationwide study where we followed a pretty big cohort of people and looked at sodium and potassium at the same time," coauthor Dr Elena V Kuklina (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) told heartwire.
"The major implications of our findings are that a diet balanced in both micronutrients is important. People should try to reduce sodium in particular by consuming less processed food, but also they should increase potassium intake, and this is easily done by eating more fruit and vegetables and dairy products, which are a good source of potassium and low in sodium. This is nothing new; a healthy diet is good for your health."
Kuklina stresses that people must understand the massive impact that processing has on foods: for example, 100 g of unprocessed pork contains 61 mg of sodium and 340 mg of potassium, she notes, but turning this into ham alters that ratio significantly, to yield a whopping 921 mg of sodium and, to boot, reduces the potassium content to 240 mg.
In an accompanying editorial [2], Drs Lynn D Silver and Thomas A Farley (New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NY) agree: "It is crucial that we understand the interplay of sodium and potassium in the diet and how to optimize intake in an increasingly processed food supply without generating harm."

Sodium/potassium ratio of <1 is protective
Yang et al examined the usual intakes of sodium and potassium as well as their ratio in relation to risk of all-cause and CVD mortality in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), a prospective cohort study of 12 267 US adults.
Kuklina said the methodology employed was "more rigorous" than in previous studies because as well as assessing diet for participants once, based on one-day recall, the investigators did this on a second, separate day, for a subsample of around 1000 people and extrapolated these findings to obtain "more precise dietary intake for the rest of the cohort."
During a mean follow-up of 14.8 years, there were a total of 2270 deaths, including 825 cardiovascular deaths and 443 ischemic heart-disease deaths. After multivariable adjustment, higher sodium intake was associated with increased all-cause mortality (HR 1.20 per 1000 mg/day), whereas higher potassium intake was associated with lower mortality risk (HR 0.80 per 1000 mg/day).
For sodium-potassium ratio, the adjusted hazard ratios comparing the highest quartile with the lowest quartile were 1.46 for all-cause mortality, 1.46 for CVD mortality, and 2.15 for ischemic heart disease (IHD) mortality.
Some of the findings "are not new," says Kuklina. "We know for sure the relationship between sodium and hypertension, although there is a little bit more inconsistency when it comes to sodium and CVD mortality. And we know that higher potassium is protective against hypertension, but much less is known about potassium intake and cardiovascular disease and mortality."
We found that potassium does matter.
The results show that sodium/potassium ratio of <1 is protective, she says: "We found that potassium does matter."
One simple way of boosting potassium, she notes, is to replace regular snacks with fruit. For example, a doughnut contains 210 mg of sodium and 120 mg of potassium. "Swap this for an orange, and you will have just 1.6 mg of sodium and 150 mg of potassium."

More trials needed on interactive effects of sodium and potassium
In their editorial, Silver and Farley discuss the well-known barriers to implementing the dietary change that will be necessary to lower sodium and increase potassium intake. They applaud efforts to reduce sodium artificially added to food during processing and say public policies to increase dietary intake of potassium—for example, by making fruits and vegetables cheaper—should be promoted.
In addition, adequately powered longer-term trials of the interactive effects of dietary sodium and potassium—including further study of the use of potassium-rich, reduced-salt substitutes—with clinically relevant outcomes, including mortality, are needed, they conclude.
Neither the authors nor the editorialists have any conflicts of interest.

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Re: Sodium/potassium ratio important for health

Post by Juicydb » July 13th, 2011, 11:31 pm

Thanks for this! Excellent sources of potassium include baked potatoes, raisins, bananas and avocado, and many other delicious foods.

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Re: Sodium/potassium ratio important for health

Post by Jim and Sparky » July 14th, 2011, 9:11 am

What surprises me here (and maybe it shouldn't) is the effect of the reverse in ratio for processing the pork. That is astounding to me. I have been doing a little more tracking of my diet lately, and have been surprised at the levels of sodium that have popped up even though I thought I was being pretty careful about it. That stuff seems to sneaki in everywhere.
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Re: Sodium/potassium ratio important for health

Post by TruckerRon » July 14th, 2011, 4:09 pm

My youngest daughter learned at school to read nutritional info panels on food and, for some reason, has focused on sodium. Today she called my attention to the sodium levels of V-8 (mixed vegetable juice) and the store brand of tomato juice.

I know that food companies typically add sugar and salt to their products because it does positively increase their sales. At what point will they realize they are simultaneously destroying their customer base?
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