Potassium intake: the Cinderella electrolyte

Eur Heart J. 2023 Dec 14;44(47):4925-4934. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehad628.


Dietary guidelines recommend intake targets for some essential minerals, based on observational and experimental evidence relating mineral intake levels to health outcomes. For prevention of cardiovascular disease, reducing sodium intake and increasing potassium intake are the principal tools. While reducing sodium intake has received greatest public health priority, emerging evidence suggests that increasing potassium intake may be a more important target for cardiovascular prevention. Increased potassium intake reduces blood pressure and mitigates the hypertensive effects of excess sodium intake, and the recent large Phase III SSaSS trial reported that increasing potassium intake (and reducing sodium intake) in populations with low potassium intake and high sodium intake, through salt substitution (25% KCl, 75%NaCl), reduces the risk of stroke in patients at increased cardiovascular risk. As key sources of potassium intake include fruit, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, higher potassium intake may be associated with healthy dietary patterns. The current review makes the case that increasing potassium intake might represent a more advantageous dietary strategy for prevention of cardiovascular disease. Future research should focus on addressing the independent effect of potassium supplementation in populations with low or moderate potassium intake, and determine effective strategies to increase potassium intake from diet.

Keywords: Cardiovascular; Diet; Potassium; Prevention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Electrolytes
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / prevention & control
  • Potassium*
  • Sodium, Dietary / adverse effects
  • Vegetables


  • Electrolytes
  • Potassium
  • Sodium, Dietary

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