Dietary potassium may alleviate hardening of the arteries, finds mouse study

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The University of Alabama researchers studied a mischief by giving them high-fat diets, in which the mice were fed with either small, average or large amounts of potassium. It seems the potassium in these foods preserves the health of the arteries, as it keeps them from hardening or from calcifying. The researchers conducted the study on mice, the study showed that these two foods contain potassium that reduces the risk of aortic stiffness and help in reduces vascular calcification. Also, it is necessary to carry out prevention to prevent a heart attack.

Dr. Mike Knapton, a physician from the British Heart Foundation who was not involved in the study said that mice that enjoyed the potassium-rich diets produced more flexible arteries. They said the hardening of the arteries is significantly correlated to a diet based on potassium. In contrast, the mice fed a high-potassium diet had markedly inhibited vascular calcification.

Heart disease, which kills roughly 600,000 USA citizens each year, is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

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Working from living mice down to molecular events in cells in culture, the UAB researchers determined a causative link between reduced dietary potassium and vascular calcification in atherosclerosis, as well as uncovered the underlying pathogenic mechanisms. Increasing potassium levels, however, could reduce these effects. Mice were split into three groups and given varying levels of dietary potassium - 0.3 percent, 0.7 percent and 2.1 percent weight/weight, respectively. It also comes with B vitamins and an enzyme known as amylase, which encourages normal blood sugar.

These effects suggest the transformation of VSMC into cells that possessed bone-like characteristics.

This is thought to be due to low-potassium levels in the blood preventing the expression of genes that maintain artery flexibility. Results revealed that, mice that were fed with low-potassium diets yielded significant vascular calcification and aortal stiffening compared with the mice fed with normal-potassium diets. Results in both of those systems supported the vital role for potassium to regulate vascular calcification through calcium signaling, CREB and autophagy.