Why have we practitioners shied away from prescribing, or even recommending, high doses of potassium to our patients? We can lay the blame at the feet of the FDA who, with an overabundance of caution, ruled that potassium supplements cannot exceed 99mg of potassium per dose, which is only 2% of the 4,700mg Adequate Intake (AI) of potassium.
Older Standards Still In Place
The reason given for these concerns can be found on an NIH webpage about potassium. They say that supplements providing more than 99mg potassium are not safe because they have been associated with small-bowel lesions. These potassium pills were enteric-coated and dissolved in the small intestine causing ulcers. As far as I can tell the original article about “Potassium-induced Lesions of the Small Bowel” was published in 1965.
Back in 1965, there wasn’t even a dietary supplement industry. Which means that these enteric-coated potassium pills would have to be a medical prescription from your doctor. And the coating would wear off just in time to dump concentrated potassium on your intestinal lining, causing the ulceration. Fortunately, there do not seem to be any enteric coated potassium pills on the market presently.
In my naturopathic training and when I was researching my Magnesium Miracle book, l learned that potassium has very important interactions with magnesium. However, I was still reluctant to recommend potassium supplements because of the FDA warning. Instead, I encouraged people to make potassium broth and eat lots of vegetables, erroneously thinking that would be enough.
New Facts and New Opinions
I had to revise my opinion about potassium supplements and also the importance of potassium when I realized some of my customers with atrial fibrillation, even though they were becoming saturated with ReMag, still had symptoms, which I began to attribute to low potassium. Some of these customers were on the Keto diet and had cut back on their vegetable carbs. Some were taking cream of tartar powder for its high potassium content – but I was concerned that they wouldn’t know how much potassium they were taking and could overdose. Even with all this information, I still only reinforced the need for potassium broth and more vegetables.
Reviewing The Research
When I investigated dietary surveys, they showed that people in the U.S. consume less than the recommended amount of potassium. Potassium was actually identified as a “nutrient of public health concern” in the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Data from the 2013–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the average adult daily potassium intake from foods is 3,016 mg for men and 2,320 mg for women. This is a far cry from the recommended AI of 4,700. Also, if a person with a 1,000-2,000 mg potassium deficiency also has magnesium deficiency, they could be doubly affected. Potassium deficiency being called a public health concern makes me think of magnesium deficiency, which has been declared a public health crisis. However, potassium only services a few enzyme systems whereas magnesium is responsible for 1,000.
Listening To Our Customers
Here are the words of one customer who talked about her low potassium intake and who helped to change my mind about creating a potassium supplement:
I’ve been dealing with tremors, palpitations and some scary SVT episodes since June, 2019. I had been using some form of magnesium for years but ordered your ReMag in October, 2019 and found it easier on my gut. For my SVT, I use ReMag which does help but it wasn’t until I tracked my food intake with the Cronometer App that I discovered how little potassium I was consuming – only about 2600mg per day!! (The AI is 4,700mg) Why? I eat mostly a Paleo diet and because of SIBO, I’m limited in the amount of potassium-rich foods my gut can tolerate. Bottom line here is that, for me, the issue was potassium. I now use a potassium chloride powder in my daily water along with 2.25 tsp ReMag, 1 tsp ReMyte and 0.5 tsp ReCalcia. Your minerals are so helpful!! Since adding potassium chloride, my episodes of AFib and tachycardia have vanished. My heart only starts to flutter when my dietary potassium intake drops. No one suggested I might have low potassium intake.
Here is a report from a customer taking our Pico Potassium:
I’m on my 3rd day of Pico Potassium and I don’t how to express it other than to say, I have reached another positive level of wellness, another level of calmness, in spite of the turmoil around us. Please convey my gratitude to the wonderful Dr Dean and her Team for this product. And it also tastes good as well. What a combination they all make together. I suddenly love my water.
Starting My Next-Steps
When I decided to make Pico Potassium, I realized all I needed to do was concentrate the stabilized ion of potassium chloride that we have in ReMyte. On our FDA-compliant label, the dose on Pico Potassium is 99mg per ¼ tsp. I recommend that if someone is not getting 4,700mg of potassium in their diet; if their blood level of potassium isn’t in the high normal range; if they have heart rhythm symptoms even when they are saturated with 2-4 tsp of ReMag a day; or if they are on a diuretic, they can take Pico Potassium.
Identifying The Right Amount
I think the chronometer app at cronometer.com is a great tool for patients to learn how much potassium they are getting in their diet and therefore how much more they need to take as a supplement.
Pico Potassium is likely absorbed about 2X as much as food or other supplements. I developed this understanding because our ReMag absorption study shows that ReMag is picometer in size and is fully absorbed at the cellular level. We have not yet done a Pico Potassium absorption study but the process for both minerals is the same so the absorption should be similar. So, if you are deficient in your diet by 1200mg, you would take 1.5 tsp of Pico Potassium. 1 tsp = 394mg.
Continuing My Research
I am still studying blood tests for potassium. Since potassium is normally elevated inside cells the RBC potassium test should be more valid than a serum potassium. Of course, ionized potassium testing is the gold standard. At this point, until I learn more, I’m recommending a high normal potassium blood level no matter the type of testing.
About Carolyn Dean MD ND
Dr. Carolyn Dean is a medical doctor and naturopath. She’s the author of over 35 books including best seller The Magnesium Miracle along with IBS for Dummies, Hormone Balance, Death by Modern Medicine, and 110 Kindle books.
In 2011, she launched her RnA ReSet formulas through New Capstone, Inc. and brought her 50 years of experience into her proprietary, unique formulations that give every individual at any stage of wellness or illness the necessary building blocks for sustained health, vitality, and well-being.
In 2017 New Capstone, Inc. launched RnA ReSet PRO to meet the growing demand of interested health care practitioners determined offer these formulas to their clients.