The observations showed how the people who received low potassium foods had a high level of stiffening in their arteries, much higher when compared to the medium group.
"The findings have important translational potential", said Paul Sanders, M.D., professor of nephrology in the UAB Department of Medicine and a co-author, "since they demonstrate the benefit of adequate potassium supplementation on prevention of vascular calcification in atherosclerosis-prone mice, and the adverse effect of low potassium intake". Avocados are close to the top as well, as they also contain a high amount of the substance. The animals given high potassium had substantially less artery hardening.
They conducted a study on mice, who were at-risk of heart disease were fed a high-fat diet.
The cell culture analysis revealed that through a potassium transport channel called the inward rectifier potassium channel, low-potassium conditions led to a rise in intracellular calcium in vascular smooth muscle cells.
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"With more research, we might be able to see if the disease forms in humans in a similar way and develop treatments", Dr. Mike Knapton of the British Heart Foundation told The Sun. The mice used were deficient in a protein called apolipoprotein E, which makes rodents more susceptible to atherosclerosis in response to a high-fat diet.
While human studies are now needed to demonstrate the efficacy of potassium against vascular calcification in humans, the researchers believe that their current findings show promise. One of them is this nutrient that helps with heart diseases.
Bananas are a good source of potassium, containing more than 400 mg of the mineral each.
Vitamin B6 -.5 mg, Manganese -.3 mg, Vitamin C - 9 mg, Potassium - 450 mg, Dietary Fiber - 3g, Protein - 1 g, Magnesium - 34 mg, Folate - 25.0 mcg, Riboflavin -.1 mg, Niacin -.8 mg, Vitamin A - 81 IU, Iron -.3 mg. According to World Health Organization, each person should eat at least 3500 mg of potassium daily. You can also eat artichokes as they have 345 mg potassium or snack on seedless raisins, which gives you 270 mg potassium. Spinach, carrots, oranges, and bananas are just some fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium.
However, overeating potassium can cause stomach ache, nausea and diarrhea in people.