Insufficient potassium and vitamin B-1 (thiamin) can not damage the heart significantly when both are deficient. This has very important implications when supplementing each during heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Cardiovascular disease remains as the #1 cause of mortality. About 50% of heart failure patients will perish in 5-years. At age 40, life time risk of developing heart failure is 1 in 5.Diastolic dysfunction heart failure prevalence has increased to 50% of all heart failure. Most of the heart disease in western societies is probably either caused by or is greatly enhanced by a potassium deficiency. Potassium has been used in heart disease therapy since 1930 . Potassium enriched table salt almost halved the mortality from cardiovascular disease of retired men studied in China over a 31 month period . Permanent damage can be inflicted on the heart and kidneys of animals by potassium restriction .
However it is possible for a dangerous imbalance with respect to thiamine (vitamin B-1) can arise from potassium supplements if animal experiments are an indication. If potassium supplements are given during the wet heart disease of beri beri (vitamin B-1 deficiency), the heart disease is made much worse . Wet heart disease of beri-beri is impossible if potassium is also deficient . Instead a muscular atrophy similar to that from vitamin E deficiency appears . Hove and Herndon suspect that muscular dystrophy is a potassium deficiency since body potassium is low during muscular dystrophy . During a vitamin B-1 deficiency the heart loses potassium . This may be why heart damage in beriberi resembles that in a potassium deficiency. The chemistry of vitamin B-1 in the body is extremely complicated and determining its status by chemical tests is very difficult (this article shows the chemistry in great detail)[36 Wooley]. One symptom of a vitamin B-1 deficiency is lactic acid acidosis . Why the heart should be protected by a deficiency of both potassium and vitamin B-1 is strange, and I know no explanation for it.
Some of the symptoms of heart disease are shortness of breath, swelling of the legs and ankles and occasionally the abdomen, fatigue and weakness, loss of appetite and nausea, reduced urination, and persistent cough which sometimes produces mucus or blood tinged sputum. DISCUSSION
It could be the sulfur dioxide in most wines might be part of the reason why wine statistically protects people from the more prevalent potassium deficient heart disease because sulfites in most wines destroy vitamin B-1 in the intestines. Wine also has a poison in it that interferes with potassium excretion , and this would intensify the problem with vitamin B-1 destruction for those who start to take potassium supplements. Please keep in mind that the necrosis of heart tissue discussed here is not the same as cardiovascular disease of blood vessels, which is probably usually from a copper deficiency.
It is obvious that if potassium supplements are given, it is very important that the vitamin B-1 intake must be adequate at the same time, and one third of heart disease patients are deficient in thiamin .
. You may see here the way to acquire a very comprehensive book about potassium supplementation, nutrition and physiology. It is called “POTASSIUM NUTRITION in Heart Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gout, Diabetes, Metabolic Shock (hyperkalemia), and High Blood Pressure”. The table of contents and the introduction are shown.
Potassium supplements are also called sodium free table salt, Morton’s Lite salt, Stirling’s Half and Half (the above combination salts contain about one atom of potassium to two of sodium as the chloride), sodium free baking powder (potassium bicarbonate or tartrate), oral rehydration therapy (ORT) for diarrhea, glucose-insulin-kalium (GIK) salt, and potassium softened water . Leafy vegetables low in starch are high in potassium, some so much so that they are virtually a supplement. Ammonium chloride is equivalent to a potassium supplement since ammonium interferes with excretion of potassium in the kidneys. Glucosamine is a biological reaction product of fructose-6-phosphate sugar and glutamic amino acid, sold as the sulfate. Glutamic acid breaks down forming ammonium ion in the body, so glucosamine acts to increase body potassium by ammonium interference with excretion. Some commercial glucosamine products are also a direct potassium supplement, since they contain large amounts of potassium chloride. Potassium was considered inert, or largely so in the past but definitely is not. In addition to potassium, ammonium and choline molecules were also used in salt substitutes. These molecules may not be useless. Choline is a biologically active material similar to vitamins but made by the body. Its long-term effects as a supplement are unknown to me. However choline supplements increase memory ability in baby rats when administered either before or after being born, probably from an increase in brain cell size . Ammonium, at least, may interfere with potassium excretion if it is absorbed in the intestines and has been used to protect the kidneys . So far as I know, reasonable amounts of the substitutes above are reasonably harmless for healthy people who have normal blood pressure. Ammonium is even synthesized by the kidneys during a potassium deficiency from glutamine, and this is probably a strategy of the body, the purpose of which is to prevent potassium loss. Eating glutamine increases ammonia excretion and decreases potassium excretion . However, if ammonium chloride is used during a potassium deficiency a dangerous taurine depletion occurs resulting in lethal heart disease in cats , so should be avoided by humans until there is more information. Sulfate is an excretory product, so the sulfate as the anion with potassium should be, at the least, useless. I suspect that potassium as the sulfate may have the same effect on high blood pressure (hypertension) as the chloride has in increasing pressure, but I know of no evidence. In patients on adequate potassium and low sodium, there is no significant change of blood pressure from potassium supplements. “Urinary potassium was 77±16, 122±25, and 125±27 mmol/24 hours after 4 weeks on placebo, potassium chloride, and potassium bicarbonate, respectively. There were no significant differences in office blood pressure among the 3 treatment periods, and only 24-hour and daytime systolic blood pressures were slightly lower with potassium chloride. Compared with placebo, both potassium chloride and potassium bicarbonate significantly improved endothelial function as measured by brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation, increased arterial compliance as assessed by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, decreased left ventricular mass, and improved left ventricular diastolic function. There was no significant difference between the 2 potassium salts in these measurements. The study also showed that potassium chloride reduced 24-hour urinary albumin and albumin:creatinine ratio, and potassium bicarbonate decreased 24-hour urinary calcium, calcium:creatinine ratio, and plasma C-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type 1 collagen significantly. These results demonstrated that an increase in potassium intake had beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, and potassium bicarbonate may improve bone health. Importantly, these effects were found in individuals who already had a relatively low-salt and high-potassium intake.” Potassium citrate should have an affects similar to potassium bicarbonate because citrate is used by the body to provide energy. Potassium citrate has been found to effectively prevent kidney uric acid stones. This is probably related to producing a less acid urine. I suspect that the citrate or the carbonate are the safest long term potassium supplements.
Adding potassium sulfate to a processed food diet should have the same effect as adding sulfuric acid to a normal diet, whatever that is. In any case, sulfate and phosphate increases potassium excretion . Phosphate is probably very dangerous for those with heart disease. Excess phosphate has caused 100 per cent mortality during heart disease , so potassium probably should not be provided as the phosphate. Soft drinks often are high in phosphoric acid.
Potassium bicarbonate has been shown to be not as quick as the chloride in relieving a deficiency both as to reducing cell sodium content and raising plasma levels of potassium . However, potassium as the chloride should have the same affect on heart disease as potassium from unprocessed food coupled with hydrochloric acid supplements, whatever that is. There are times when this might be disadvantageous. However, even so, potassium chloride reduces blood pressure in sodium loaded spontaneously hypertensive rats and protects them from kidney damage  (and no doubt from heart disease).This may be because of difficulty in handling hydrogen ion (acid) in some forms of high blood pressure. Support is given to this possibility since sodium bicarbonate lowered blood pressure 5 mm of mercury while sodium chloride had no affect , possibly partly because sodium chloride was already high in their diet. Any designation of high blood pressure must be by comparing the pressure to the average among low sodium chloride intake people . Both sodium and chloride are necessary for pressure augmentation . This phenomenon may be involved with 18 hydroxy deoxycorticosterone steroid hormone (18 OHDOC) because that hormone is raised in one of the forms of high blood pressure  and that hormone is the hormone used by the body to increase acid excretion. Chloride as the potassium salt increases blood pressure somewhat though. All these complications are arguments to eat only undamaged food and get as much nourishment from food as possible
Even if the patient is eating foods fairly adequate in vitamin B-1, the patient could still possibly have a problem with vitamin B-1 deficiency if also eating foods that have sulfites in them since sulfites degrade vitamin B-1 in the intestines   Such foods are wine, vinegar, pickles, olives, salad dressing, canned clams, fresh, frozen, canned, or dried shrimp, frozen lobster, scallops, dried cod, gelatin, pectin jelling agents, cornstarch, modified food starch, spinach pasta, gravies, hominy, breadings, batters, noodle/rice mixes, shredded coconut, vegetable juice, canned vegetables (including potatoes), pickled vegetables (including sauerkraut), dried vegetables, instant mashed potatoes, frozen potatoes, potato salad, corn syrup, maple syrup, fruit toppings, and high-fructose syrups such as corn syrup and pancake syrup, instant tea, liquid tea concentrates, beer, bottled lemon juice, some baked goods, some dried fruits, and some meat in dog and cat food . Extruding wheat flour at temperatures approaching 100 degrees C can cause losses of vitamin B-1 as high as 34%. Using diuretics can cause loss of vitamin B-1 , loop diuretics, for instance [36 Wooley]. There is something in tea leaves that antagonizes vitamin B-1 . Phenolic compounds in blueberries  and rice bran  destroy vitamin B-1. Also, the symptoms of a vitamin B-1 deficiency can materialize even if vitamin B-1 is adequate if magnesium is deficient, say from Chron’s disease . A folate deficiency prevents thiamin absorption in rats. Folate is the most common B vitamin deficiency in the world.  Tea leaves and betel nuts destroy vitamin B-1. Consumption of food high in tannins can cause thiamin deficiency. The reaction was biphasic, having a rapid initial phase which was oxygen-independent, followed by a slower phase which was oxygen concentration-dependent. Ascorbic acid completely inhibited the reaction if present at the beginning of the reaction and could partially reverse the reaction if added during the first 30 min. It is possible that low hydrochloric acid in the stomach of diabetics causes destruction of vitamin B-1. The diet can vary widely as to vitamin B-1. Vitamin B-1 deficiency may be suspected in refugee immigrants, critically ill patients and alcoholics. Vitamin B-1 deficiency can result in cardiac failure, neuropathy, or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which last can not be cured with oral supplements even though classic thiamine deficiency symptoms do not show .
Diabetics should keep in mind a new discovery that type 1 diabetics excrete vitamin B-1 four times normal people and type 2 three times, which leads to a vitamin B-1 content in plasma one fourth as high in diabetics. This is due to a malfunction of thiamin absorption in the proximal kidney tubules. Erythrocyte (red blood cells) vitamin B-1 was normal in diabetics, probably because there were increased thiamin transporters THTR-1 RFC-1 in the cell wall. Therefore erythrocyte thiamin can not be used to determine thiamin status .
Since diabetics are usually deficient in potassium, it seems that it is highly probable that they should never use potassium unless they correct the vitamin B-1 at the same time and the reverse.
The reverse is also the case. Vitamin B-1 supplements should be dangerous for people with low potassium. Since cell potassium is always low in rheumatoid arthritis , such people should not take vitamin B-1 without potassium. This may be part of the reason why people with rheumatoid arthritis (but not osteoarthritis) have a much higher heart disease rate than others . It is not possible to rely on plasma or serum potassium determinations because when the blood of arthritics is drawn the platelets release potassium into the plasma . Even so, 80% of people with rheumatic heart disease have low blood plasma potassium content .
All purpose vitamin capsules contain no potassium but usually contain vitamin B-1. Some contain 1,000% of the recommended daily intake and one even contains 5,000%. This is -dangerous for most heart disease in the absence of potassium supplements, but I do not know what definitive affect it has on rheumatoid arthritis.
It is extremely important to determine what kind of heart disease a patient has because of the potassium / vitamin B-1 imbalance. As much of essential vitamins and minerals should be obtained from food as possible in or out of a hospital, because nutrient interactions are complicated and correcting deficiencies is difficult for doctors and sometimes dangerous. For patients it is almost impossible to get it correctly. Food is usually safe and balanced for people with no genetic defect if unprocessed, varied, and free of poison. Food processors have no legitimate excuse for destroying or poisoning the food. They have PhDs in nutrition and food technology.
It is probable that the increased mortality during heart disease from taking non steroid anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that Mangoni and Knights mention is because of NSAIDs’ affect in inhibiting aldosterone degradation , so that the build up in aldosterone causes inappropriate potassium excretion thus an artificial potassium deficiency is created. REFERENCES – see them below at the end
If every one had an average intake of potassium equal to his fair share of the as grown potassium, they would receive about 3,500 milligrams per day. After processing losses and uneaten food is subtracted from the total [37 Adelson], my best guess is that the average daily intake is about 2,000 milligrams per day [38 Economic]. Keep in mind that half the people are eating less than the average. Old people have an intake less than the average [39 Dall & Gardner]. [40 Dall, et al], which is no doubt at least partly due to a lower caloric intake. Black people in Georgia average 1,500 milligrams per day, while their white neighbors average 2,000 milligrams [41Grim 1970] [42 Grim 1980]. I say the above is an unacceptably high loss. Anyone taking a pay cut like that would be very, very unhappy.
Low potassium intake is also somewhat implicated in high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis , and kidney stones. Potassium ingested as the chloride can actually raise blood pressure (hypertension) slightly. Potassium has been found to increase bone density [43 Tucker].
POLITICS of POTASSIUM
The health of people in the USA is abysmal , and a major part of it is poor nutrition. As the 12th century physician, trying to cure by diet before he administers drugs, said; “No illness that can be treated by diet should be treated by any other means" or as Hippocrates expressed it in 460 - 377BC; "If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health." It would seem that a healthy life style has been known for a long time. It is my belief that an unprocessed, unfrozen, not canned, high in vegetables diet would keep a large majority of people reasonably healthy and without the need for fad diets. The World Health Organization of the UN agrees with this, and maintains that the majority of deaths are from nutrition preventable chronic diseases. 80% of Americans do not eat adequate vegetables, but even though 72% of Americans take vitamin or mineral supplements daily or sometimes [44 Sardi p148], their health is atrocious, especially old people. Those who don't smoke, eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, exercise regularly and maintain a normal weight account for ONLY 3 PERCENT of the adult population in the United States, according to the report in the April 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. And now people with primitive diets are switching over to up to date destroyed diets world wide with corresponding decline in health.
One third of the world’s children are under weight and malnourished. 20,000 die of hunger each year [45 Gitlin]. We can ill afford to deliberately destroy any of our food by processors.
I would suggest that a partial solution to the problem of poor potassium nutrition would be to place a tax on all food that has had potassium removed by food processors and completely fund all Medicare, Medicaid, and workman’s compensation for injuries and disease that relate to rheumatoid arthritis, gout, heart disease, and high blood pressure. This would also take the onerous tax burden now incurred for them and place it on the shoulders of those who cause the problem. And this tax burden is not the only burden. Half the bankruptcies in the USA are caused by medical bills. Achieving this would be much more likely if the money was removed from politics by public funding of election campaigns and there were runoff elections. It would be the best bargain for use of public funds we would ever have made. The Health Freedom Foundation is currently attempting to solve the problem by lobbying government legislatures to change the laws and agencies organizations. Michael Jacobson and Kelly Brownell of the Center for Science in the Public Interest have proposed a small tax on soft drinks and candy to finance public nutrition education. This would be a small step in the correct direction, but inadequate by itself. Another idea to help the nutrition of our society by Dan O’Keefe is to require all supermarkets to provide a computer that tells a shopper which brands should not be eaten for each of the degenerative diseases (for instance food containing sulfite not to be eaten by those suffering from beri-beri caused heart disease).
Dr. Reza Rastmanesh from Iran has performed a large controlled clinical trial testing potassium supplements against rheumatoid arthritis with dramatic decreases in pain in all subjects and increases of cortisol [46 Rastmanesh]. He would now like to continue his clinical research testing potassium in conjunction with other nutrients, especially magnesium, in an English speaking country. His credentials are impressive. If you know of any rheumatology department able to employ him, please contact me at; isoptera at att.net , and I will send you his curriculum vitae.
SOME HEALTH INFORMATION
. You may see here the way to acquire a very comprehensive book about potassium nutrition and physiology. It is called “POTASSIUM NUTRITION in Heart Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gout, Diabetes, Metabolic Shock (hyperkalemia), and High Blood Pressure”. The table of contents and the introduction are shown as well as a link to the first two chapters.
Electrolyte regulation (sodium
and potassium) -- Purpose of
cortisol -- Copper nutrition
and physiology -- Strategies for Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia
There is an article discussing anacardic acids in cashew nuts to cure a tooth abscess and other gram positive bacteria infections that might prove useful.
There is also an article that proposes ameliorations for diabetes and a possible cause from chili pepper.
There is evidence that cell phones can produce tumors. Using remote ear phones would seem to be a good idea.
It has been proposed that large amounts of vitamin D will cause a dramatic reduction in the heart disease rate . I suspect this may be from making magnesium absorption more efficient.
The pioneering efforts about potassium for arthritis by Charles de Coti-Marsh enabled him to form a foundation currently active in England that promotes the use of potassium for arthritis and it has helped more than 3500 people.
Fluoride in city water will cause fluorosis discoloration of teeth, weakened bones, damage to the kidneys, thyroid, and immune system, bone cancer, and, worst of all, damage to the nerves resembling Alzheimer’s disease. It will also cause damage to ligaments resembling arthritis. For a forum that discusses iodide (an antidote for fluoride) access this site.
See this site for some links to health articles.
For a procedure that discusses tetrathiomolybdate for removing copper and thus preventing further solid cancer growth and Hodgkin’s, see this site. This might buy some time until you can persuade a doctor to try tumor necrosis factor or interferon or an opioid antagonist drug called Naltrexone (Naltrexone in the large 50mg size, originally manufactured by DuPont under the brand name ReVia, is now sold by Mallinckrodt as Depade and by Barr Laboratories under the generic name naltrexone) that blocks some endorphin receptors. Said blockage is thought to cause the body to temporarily secrete more endorphins, especially after midnight at night. These endorphins are thought to stimulate the immune system. It appears to be especially effective for minimizing symptoms and retarding progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) (also see these sites; this site and this site and a trial). A few doctors have had encouraging results in Crohn's Disease and CFIDS, and even to some extent in cancer. Low doses of Naltrexone (LDN), 1.5 to 4.5 milligrams, at bedtime is used (timing is important, and it is important not to buy slow release forms). It is said to have no known bad side effects at those doses other than insomnia the first week or two in some. There is also reports from an extensive survey in this site. I think some clinical studies on Naltrexone are in order, and it should not be a prescription drug. Though side effects appear unlikely, it is not proven over longer periods. If you try it (it is a prescription medicine in the USA), it seems likely that you should discontinue if you get a bacterial infection in view of its inhibition of antibacterial response. It is being explored for AIDS by Dr. Bernard Bihari, 29 W 15th St. New York, NY 10011, 212) 929-4196 who is still prescribing Naltrexone for HIV/AIDS. (and currently Executive Director of the Community Research Initiative). Dr. Gale Guyer of Advanced Medical Center located in Zionsville, Indiana also is using it for cancer. Dr. Bihari has shown promising results for a large percentage of his cancer patients.
Olive leaf extract has shown clinical evidence of effectiveness against a wide range of viruses, including AIDS [Bihari], herpes, and cold viruses. It sometimes produces a Herxheimer or pathogen die off symptoms (from effectiveness against bacteria?). There is evidence that it is synergistic (reinforce each other) with Naltrexone. There have been a few case histories of improvement in what were probably arthritis patients and CFIDS patients. The active ingredient is said to be oleuropein or enolate. There has been very little follow up research done on it.
Also it has been found that curcumin in turmeric or curry powder will inhibit several forms of cancer, including melanoma. People who live in India where these spices are eaten, have one tenth the cancer elsewhere. It must be used with caution because it can sometimes aggravate the situation [Stix].
Here is an article with anecdotal evidence for pressurized oxygen, zinc, vitamin B6, and vitamin C after head injuries. They also claim a fair percentage of prison inmates from psychiatric disorders after head injuries.
See this site for evidence of a correlation between magnesium deficiency and cancer. The taurate has been proposed as the best magnesium supplement. Since taurine is physiologically active, this may prove to not be the case long term. Taurine or 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid is an acidic chemical substance sulfonated rather than carboxylated found in high abundance in the tissues of many animals (metazoa), especially sea animals. Taurine is also found in plants, fungi, and some bacterial species, but in far less abundance. It is an amine with a sulfonic acid functional group, but it is not an amino acid in the biological sense, not being one of the twenty protein-forming compounds encoded by the universal genetic code. Small polypeptides have been identified as containing taurine, but to date there has been no report of a transfer RNA that is specifically charged with taurine [from Wikipedia]. It is essential to babies and is the most abundant brain amino acid at birth. With maturation babies start to synthesize taurine and glutamate becomes the most abundant in the brain of adults. It is essential to adult cats. It has been found that supplements of the amino acid, taurine, will restore the abnormal electrocardiogram present during a potassium deficiency by an unknown mechanism. This information has been used in several case histories by George Eby to control a long standing type of cardiac arrhythmia called pre atrial contractions (PACs), a benign but irritating and nerve racking heart problem, with 2.5 grams of taurine with each meal. Taurine is said to be low in the diets of vegetarians. The 2.5 grams recommended by the American Heart Association causes diarrhea in some people and should probably be reduced in those people.
There is strong evidence that taurine could have beneficial affects on type I diabetes, and could reduce organ peroxidation and plasma lipids. The retina, lens, and nerves respond better to taurine than other organs [Franconi]. Taurine has been used for high blood pressure [Fujita], migraine headache (I suspect that less than 1000 milligrams can remove the headache or eye ache caused by allergy to peanuts), high cholesterol, epilepsy, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, liver disorders, alcoholism, and cystic fibrosis, and depression. Keep in mind that some people may have a genetic defect that limits the amount of taurine tolerated and that adequate molybdenum may be desirable. Taurine may make a copper deficiency worse, based on a single case history [Brien Quirk, private communication]. This may be because taurine may be mobilizing copper and zinc into the plasma [Li]. So if you should decide to take taurine, make sure your copper intake is more than adequate, as well as your zinc. Taurine may be obtaind from health food stores as capsules.
A site is available which shows. foods which are high in one nutrient and low in another (including calories). This last site should be especially useful for a quick list of foods to consider first, or for those who must restrict another nutrient because of a genetic difficulty with absorption or utilization
You may find useful for definitions and easy to use a search for abstracts of journal references, "Gateway". You must click on “ MEDLINE/PubMed” or for definitions click on "find terms". or a list of medical search engines and also a site with several links to potassium nutrition articles.
The very extensive USDA Handbook #8 may be seen here. To access the information you must press "enter" to search, and then divide Kcal into milligrams of potassium. This last table is very comprehensive, is used in search mode, and even lists the amino acids. There are also links in it to PDF types of printouts from the table for individual nutrients available here Just click on the “A” or “W” button for the nutrient you desire. A table that has already done the potassium calculation is here in descending concentration -- or -- in alphabetical order. You may see a movie of the mechanical means by which the heart pumps blood in this site.
There is a free browser called Firefox, which is said to be less susceptible to viruses or crashes, has many interesting features, imports information from Iexplore while leaving Iexplore intact. You can also install their emailer. A feature that lists all the URLs on a viewed site can be useful when working on your own site.
---Google’s “scholar search site” is excellent for all types of journal references.
There is a free program available which tells on your site what web site accessed you, which search engine, statistics about which country, statistics of search engine access, keywords used and their frequency. It can be very useful.
The author has a degree in chemistry and a master of science degree in soil science. He has researched this subject for 40 years, primarily library research. He has cured his own early onset of rheumatoid arthritis. He has published articles on allied subjects in; The Journal of Theoretical Biology (1970, 1983), The Journal of Applied Nutrition (1974) which gained the best article of the year award, Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology (1983), and Medical Hypotheses (1984, 1999, 2007, 2008) This article is solely funded by the author and no advertisements are knowingly included.
All printed rights to this article are reserved. Electronic rights are waived.
There is a directory of rheumatologists in the USA with links to directories of other doctors, medical schools, hospitals, and health plans at this site.
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