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What Are the Benefits of Potassium Citrate?

by
author image Caroline Thompson
Caroline Thompson is a professional photojournalist who has been working for print and online publications since 1999. Her work has appeared in the "Sacramento Bee," "People Magazine," "Newsweek" and other publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in photojournalism from California State University at Hayward and a personal trainer certification from the university's Health and Fitness Institute.
What Are the Benefits of Potassium Citrate?
Potassium citrate can be taken as a powder or in capsules. Photo Credit MarianVejcik/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Potassium is an essential dietary mineral and electrolyte that regulates the balance of fluids in the body. Potassium citrate is a potassium salt of citric acid. It is a crystalline powder with a slightly salty taste. It is involved in nerve function, muscle control and blood pressure. Potassium is an essential health nutrient that is good for lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of kidney stones, increasing bone-beneficial calcium and reducing the risk of stroke.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Potassium plays an important role in controlling blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. It works with sodium to maintain water balance in the body and helps lower blood pressure in the body, according to Colorado State University. Increased potassium may increase the amount of sodium the body excretes causing a protective effect against hypertension.

A study published in the July 2005 Harvard Medical School “Family Health Guide” noted that potassium citrate had the same “blood-pressure-lowering effects” as potassium chloride. The study tested 14 people with stage 1 hypertension. They gave 7 people potassium chloride and 7 people potassium citrate. They found each group had similar beneficial effects on hypertension. They concluded that increased potassium intake does not have to be specific to be effective.

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Prevents Kidney Stones

Potassium citrate is used to prevent certain types of kidney stones. It makes the urine more alkaline and neutralizes some of the acid in the urine, which helps to reduce crystal formation. A study by J He Feng, research fellow and professor, published in the September 2001 issue of the “British Medical Journal,” noted that potassium citrate reduces calcium excretion, causing a positive calcium balance. The study concluded that potassium reduces the risk of kidney stones.

Stroke

The biggest causal factor for strokes is high blood pressure. Potassium citrate reduces blood pressure and in turn reduces the risk of stroke. A study published in the September 2001 “British Medical Journal” found reduced risk of stroke from potassium even when blood pressure was matched for both high and low intakes supporting the conclusion of a direct protective effect from potassium on strokes.

Osteoporosis

Potassium increases calcium retention by reducing calcium excretion, which may be associated a longer lasting higher bone mass. A study by SA New and colleagues published in the January 2000 “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” tested 62 healthy women aged 45 to 55 and found a direct link between higher intakes of magnesium, potassium and alcohol were associated with higher total bone mass.

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References

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