Randomized Trial on the Effects of Dietary Potassium on Blood Pressure and Serum Potassium Levels in Adults with Chronic Kidney Disease

Nutrients. 2021 Jul 31;13(8):2678. doi: 10.3390/nu13082678.


In the general population, an increased potassium (K) intake lowers blood pressure (BP). The effects of K have not been well-studied in individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD). This randomized feeding trial with a 2-period crossover design compared the effects of diets containing 100 and 40 mmol K/day on BP in 29 adults with stage 3 CKD and treated or untreated systolic BP (SBP) 120-159 mmHg and diastolic BP (DBP) <100 mmHg. The primary outcome was 24 h ambulatory systolic BP. The higher-versus lower-K diet had no significant effect on 24 h SBP (-2.12 mm Hg; p = 0.16) and DBP (-0.70 mm Hg; p = 0.44). Corresponding differences in clinic BP were -4.21 mm Hg for SBP (p = 0.054) and -0.08 mm Hg for DBP (p = 0.94). On the higher-K diet, mean serum K increased by 0.21 mmol/L (p = 0.003) compared to the lower-K diet; two participants had confirmed hyperkalemia (serum K ≥ 5.5 mmol/L). In conclusion, a higher dietary intake of K did not lower 24 h SBP, while clinic SBP reduction was of borderline statistical significance. Additional trials are warranted to understand the health effects of increased K intake in individuals with CKD.

Keywords: blood pressure; chronic kidney disease; hyperkalemia; hypertension; potassium.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Hypertension / diet therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Potassium / blood*
  • Potassium, Dietary / pharmacology*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / diet therapy*


  • Potassium, Dietary
  • Potassium