Potassium and Obesity/Metabolic Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Epidemiological Evidence

Nutrients. 2016 Mar 25;8(4):183. doi: 10.3390/nu8040183.


The objective of this study was to investigate the associations between potassium and obesity/metabolic syndrome. We identified eight relevant studies and applied meta-analysis, and nonlinear dose-response analysis to obtain the available evidence. The results of the pooled analysis and systematic review indicated that high potassium intake could not reduce the risk of obesity (pooled OR = 0.78; 95% CI: 0.61-1.01), while serum potassium and urinary sodium-to-potassium ratio was associated with obesity. Potassium intake was associated with metabolic syndrome (pooled OR = 0.75; 95% CI: 0.50-0.97). Nonlinear analysis also demonstrated a protective effect of adequate potassium intake on obesity and metabolic syndrome. Adequate intake of fruits and vegetables, which were the major sources of potassium, was highly recommended. However, additional pertinent studies are needed to examine the underlying mechanism.

Keywords: meta-analysis; metabolic syndrome; obesity; potassium; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Potassium / blood
  • Potassium / metabolism*
  • Potassium / urine
  • Potassium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Potassium, Dietary / pharmacology


  • Potassium, Dietary
  • Potassium