Potassium Rich Foods (cont.)

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

You May Need More or Less Potassium

Besides being linked to the potassium in your diet, potassium levels in your body are influenced by several factors, including kidney function, hormones, and prescription and over-the-counter medications.

People who take thiazide diuretics, often used to treat high blood pressure, may need more potassium. That's because thiazide diuretics promote potassium loss from the body. Steroids and laxatives also deplete potassium.

Other drugs used to lower blood pressure, including beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors, raise potassium levels in the body.

People with reduced kidney function may need to limit their daily potassium intake.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about how all of the medications you take affect the potassium levels in your body, and if you need more, or less, of the mineral.


Lawrence Appel, MD, MPH, professor of medicine, epidemiology, and international health, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

Marla Heller, MS, RD, author, The DASH Diet Action Plan, Amidon Press, 2007.

U.S. Department of Agriculture: "Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010: Sodium, Potassium, and Water."

Appel, L. The New England Journal of Medicine, April 17, 1997; vol 336: pp 1117-1124.

Reviewed on September 22, 2010 © 2010 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Last Editorial Review: 9/22/2010 6:21:45 PM