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Wed, 31 Jan 2024 Health & Fitness

Potassium and Magnesium: Can I take them together?

Potassium and Magnesium: Can I take them together?
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Both magnesium and potassium are important minerals that support your overall health and well-being. Magnesium supports essential muscle and heart functioning while potassium benefits heart functioning by helping to control the activity of the heart muscle. Magnesium and potassium are two minerals that are ubiquitous throughout the body and play fundamental roles in cell and tissue health.

In this article, I explore if they can be taken together.

Potassium and Magnesium, science
Heart Health
Potassium is a nucleus nutrient in heart health and plays a central role in regulating the heartbeat to ensure that the heart is working efficiently. A low level is connected to heart rhythm.

For instance, one study by Patel et al.(2017) found that even minute alterations in potassium levels may be associated with a higher risk of having a slow or fast heart rate, which can increase the risk of even more serious heart problems.

Additionally, previous studies also report that both low and high amounts can affect nerve impulses by altering the voltage of nerve cells (Cheng et al. 2013; Mushiyakh et al. 2012).

When Potassium level is too high in the blood, the heart may become dilated and flaccid.

When the heart does not beat properly, it cannot effectively pump blood to the brain, organs, and muscles.

An old study by Koplan and Stevenson(2007) found that heart arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat, can be fatal and lead to sudden death.

Lowers Blood Pressure
According to a recently updated publication from Harvard Medical School, “the average modern diet delivers too much sodium and too little potassium,” which is highly counterproductive when it comes to discouraging high blood pressure. This is because potassium, in combination with other minerals like calcium and magnesium, prevents fluid from building up in cells. A buildup of fluid within cells is what elevates blood pressure and can result in heart palpitations, narrowed arteries, scarring, and poor circulation.

One study by Houston MC(2011) found that a diet high in potassium, especially potassium from fruits and vegetables, can help lower blood pressure. This is true if the increase in potassium foods is not accompanied by an increase in high-sodium foods.

Besides, Aburto et al.(2013) found that high sodium could increase blood pressure, for those whose blood pressure is already high.

The same study found that when people with high blood pressure increased their potassium intake, their systolic blood pressure decreased by 3.49 mmHg, while their diastolic blood pressure decreased by 1.96 mmHg.

Another study by Rodrigues et al.(2014) found that people who eat more potassium had systolic blood pressure that was 6 mmHg lower and diastolic blood pressure that was 4 mmHg lower, on average.

Magnesium, Healthy Blood Pressure and Heart Health

DiNicolantonio et al.(2018) found that Subclinical magnesium deficiency increases the risk of diverse types of cardiovascular disease,” including coronary artery disease and hypertension.

Hence, our diet should be filled with magnesium-rich foods, and those foods high in potassium, to promote better heart health and normal blood pressure levels. Potassium is another electrolyte that supports heart and healthy blood pressure which should be combined with magnesium-rich foods. Potassium helps in circulation because it increases the excretion of sodium through the urine.

Hence, Guerrero-Romero and Rodríguez-Morán, (2008) found that supplementing with magnesium reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults with hypertension. Another study, by Zhang et al.( 2016) demonstrates that magnesium supplements can help lower high blood pressure levels, which may be a risk factor for heart disease.

A subsequent review by Rosique-Esteban et al.( 2018) linked high magnesium intake to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. An earlier study by Verma and Garg, (2017) linked magnesium supplements to enhanced multiple risk factors for heart disease, including triglyceride, LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure levels, especially in people with magnesium deficiency. Though, other studies did not find any effect (Simental-Mendía et al. 2017).

Can You Take Magnesium and Potassium Together?

Both magnesium and potassium play important key roles in the body. They perform a variety of functions within our muscles, tissues, and cells all while supporting a healthy lifestyle.

Most of us are not getting the recommended amounts of magnesium or potassium from our diet.

This is because our current diet tends to be high in processed foods which are high in refined grains, sugars, sodium, and unhealthy fats. Over time, this type of diet can leave people with excess calories that are lacking in important micronutrients like magnesium and potassium.

Hence, magnesium and a potassium supplement may be of benefit to ensure you are getting adequate amounts of both nutrients.

Magnesium supplements can be found in several forms, including magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, magnesium malate, magnesium gluconate, magnesium chloride, magnesium glycinate, and magnesium citrate salts. The standard dose of magnesium supplements can range from 200 mg to 400 mg.

In supplement form, you’ll generally find potassium as potassium gluconate, however, other forms like potassium citrate, potassium phosphate, potassium bicarbonate, and potassium chloride may also be used.

The Bottom Line
Magnesium and potassium are two important nutrients that can both support healthy heart functioning. Both nutrients can help support heart functioning by helping to control the activity of the heart muscle.


NB:
Prof. Nyarkotey has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations to justify his write-ups. My articles are for educational purposes and do not serve as Medical advice for Treatment. I aim to educate the public about evidence-based scientific Naturopathic Therapies.

The writer is a Professor of Naturopathic Healthcare, a Medical Journalist, and a science writer. President, Nyarkotey University College of Holistic Medicine & Technology (NUCHMT)/African Naturopathic Foundation, Ashaiman, Ghana. E. mail: [email protected]. Visit-profnyarkotey.com for more.

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