Abstract: Eating more potassium may reduce blood pressure and the occurrence of other cardiovascular diseases by actions on various systems, including the vasculature, the sympathetic nervous system, systemic metabolism, and body fluid volume. Among these, the kidney plays a major role in the potassium-rich diet–mediated blood pressure reduction. Purpose of Review: To provide an overview of recent discoveries about the mechanisms by which a potassium-rich diet leads to natriuresis. Recent Findings: Although the distal convoluted tubule (DCT) is a short part of the nephron that reabsorbs salt, via the sodium-chloride cotransporter (NCC), it is highly sensitive to changes in plasma potassium concentration. Activation or inhibition of NCC raises or lowers blood pressure. Recent work suggests that extracellular potassium concentration is sensed by the DCT via intracellular chloride concentration which regulates WNK kinases in the DCT. Summary: High-potassium diet targets NCC in the DCT, resulting in natriuresis and fluid volume reduction, which are protective from hypertension and other cardiovascular problems.
- Blood pressure
- High-potassium diet
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine