What is potassium to Sodium - ideal ratio? If you want to avoid hypertension, you'll want to strive for a 4 to 1 ratio in favor of potassium.
Potassium is a mineral which is abundantly found in a glass of orange juice. And potassium is essential to your health and well being because it is a major electrolyte in your body.
This electrolyte or mineral is a key element in the everyday functions of your body as potassium is needed to support your muscles as well as your heart.
One of the potassium facts worth remembering is that potassium works very closely with sodium to help regulate fluid in your cells and a lack of potassium can cause a whole host of problems that range from fatigue to cardiac arrest.
Our processed and fast food diets have created an imbalance between potassium and sodium - in favor of sodium. And a lot of our modern day fare goes through several processing steps, which tends to lose potassium and gain sodium.
High amounts of sodium aka salt can bring a lot of water into your blood and create high blood pressure which can put a lot of pressure on your heart.
You do need a certain amount of sodium to work with potassium for the regulation of your bodily fluids, but in general (Americans in particular) consume way too much sodium.
In addition, the overconsumption of sugar and diuretics like caffeine also deplete potassium which equals "Big Problems!"
Common salts like white table salt will contain 98 to 100% sodium chloride or about 40% pure sodium. Which means that for every 1/4 tsp of salt, you will consume about 600 mg. of sodium.
Lower sodium salts like PANSALT contain only 56 to 57% sodium chloride which is about 1/2 the amount of sodium found in common salt.
Supposedly, it tastes just like regular salt and behaves like regular salt in cooking food. And it has been proven to be clinically effective on lowering blood pressure.
It's probably because it contains a decent amount of Potassium (like in supplements) in its formula - about 28%.
The only problem with this particular potassium/sodium salt is that it may only be found in the Philippines - until someone starts selling this salt in the USA.
What is potassium to sodium ratio that has proven to be effective on hypertension?
Well as far as I can tell it's at least a 4 to 1 ratio or 4 potassium to 1 sodium.
This ratio has proven to be effective on hypertension which helps keep your body relaxed.
Before the onslaught of processed foods found on every grocery store shelf today and the popularity of fast food restaurants - we had a 4 to 1 ratio and even a 10 to 1 ratio in favor of potassium.
And in older times, it may have been a ratio of 16 to 1. Which is quite a bit different than the ratio of potassium to sodium today!
What is potassium K Factor? It's the balance between potassium (which is represented by K+) and sodium (which is represented by Na+) ions in and between the cells of your body. In other words, the K Factor is your potassium to sodium ratio.
Unfortunately, the typical American diet is very high in sodium (from salts) and low in potassium (from processed foods) which gives you a low K Factor and also compromises the function of your sodium-potassium pump.
The sodium-potassium pump or the Na+/K+ pump was discovered by Dr. Jens Christian Skou. He actually called this pump "Na+, K+ -ATPase" because he claimed that this pump was an enzyme that moves ions across the cell membrane.
It's located on the membrane of every cell which pumps 3 sodium ions out of your cells and pumps 2 potassium
ions into your cells. This pump is necessary to re balance the quantities of these charged ions that face each other across the cell membrane.
Differences in their concentration will create an electrical potential or voltage which makes it possible for your nerve cells to signal each other as well as other organs of your body.
This pump operates much like a battery which generates a controlled current which is essential for the communication and transport (in and out) of your cell's nutrients and other compounds. And potassium regulates fluid balance in your body by means of the sodium-potassium pump
ATP is used to keep the pump going and your cells will expend most of their energy operating millions of these pumps. Dr. Skou also discovered that this pump which he called an enzyme was most active when exposed to the right combination of sodium, potassium, and magnesium ions.
Balancing the K Factor
Yes, there may be lifestyles that require a higher intake of sodium. This might include athletes, people with weak adrenal glands, people who live in hot climates, and people on Ketogenic diets.
However, could this really be a chicken-and-egg situation? In other words, what's really gone wrong?
What is potassium deficiency and why isn't that being addressed? Let's go back to the sodium-potassium pumps which are critically important for charging and re charging your battery.
Your cell membranes have gateways where potassium can flow out and sodium temporarily flows in. This generates an electrical charge that pushes electrical impulses along your nerves to your brain. The exchange of potassium and sodium is crucial for your nerves and muscles to work properly.
However, problems will occur with these gateways when you don't have enough potassium, have insufficient mitochondria, or have leaky cell membranes that allow sodium ions and potassium ions (which are extremely small) to sneak back across the cell membranes in the wrong direction.
Leaky cell membranes can occur from a deficiency of cholesterol, insufficient sulfate (for "exclusion zone"), or lack of PUFAs (omega 3s) to name a few reasons. Your body will then have to expend much more energy pumping sodium and potassium ions that will eventually lead to burning out your mitochondria which generates your ATP.
As a last ditch solution after running low on ATP, your body will have to rely on calcium to plug up the holes. And this calcium will also be used to help your cells maintain their charge.
Therefore, knowledge of the sodium-potassium pumps is crucial for your understanding of energy balance and the disease mechanisms that will come into play when these pumps are not functioning properly - which leads to a lot of "metabolic" problems.