Increased Dietary Potassium May Reduce Risk of Kidney Failure and Heart Disease in Type 2 Diabetes

Diets rich in potassium may help protect the heart and kidney health of patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online on November 12, 2015 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). The article is titled “Urinary Potassium Excretion and Renal and Cardiovascular Complications in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Normal Renal Function." Individuals with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of developing kidney failure and heart disease, which are are common life-threatening complications of diabetes To examine whether higher intake sodium and potassium are associated with these risks, Shin-ichi Araki, M.D., Ph.D., Shiga University of Medical Science, in Japan, and his colleagues studied a group of 623 patients with type 2 diabetes and normal kidney function. Patients were enrolled between 1996 and 2003 and were followed-up until 2013. Higher levels of urinary potassium excretion, which closely correlate with potassium intake amounts, were linked with a slower decline of kidney function and a lower incidence of cardiovascular complications. Sodium levels were not associated with kidney or heart health during follow-up. "For many individuals with diabetes, the most challenging part of a treatment plan is to determine what to eat. The results in our study highlight the importance of a diet high in potassium in diabetes nutrition therapy," said Dr. Araki. [Press release] [Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology article]
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