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Potassium May Reduce Risk of Certain Types of Stroke

According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an American suffers from a stroke every 40 seconds. Even more alarmingly, a death occurs as a result of stroke every 3 to 4 minutes. A recent meta-analysis suggests that adding more potassium to your diet may significantly reduce the risk of the most common types of stroke.

The study was published in the journal Stroke on July 28, 2011.

Researchers examined 10 studies investigating the association between potassium intake and stroke risk. The earliest study took place in January 1966 and the most recent one was in March 2011. Between all 10 studies, 268,276 participants were included and 8,695 stroke cases were reported.

Researchers discovered that every 1000mg daily increase in potassium intake was associated with an 11% reduction in the risk of ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke, accounting for 85% of all strokes. It was also associated with a 5% reduction in the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage. However, they also found that it was associated with an 8% increased risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Potassium has also been linked with prevention of hypoglycemia, diabetes, obesity and kidney disease. It may also help counteract muscle cramps.

Many foods are rich in potassium, including beans, avocados, bananas, whole grains, sweet potatoes, beet greens, tomato paste, yogurt, bananas and peaches. The USDA recommends that adults get 4,700 mg of potassium per day. If your family has a history of ischemic stroke, you may want to consider consuming closer to 6,000 mg daily.

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