A recent study which was done by Women’s Health Initiative found that women consuming more potassium have a lower risk (12%) of stroke and ischemic stroke (16%) in comparison to women consuming very low potassium.
In women who are not hypertensive, those women who consumed the maximum potassium had a 27% lower risk of ischemic stroke than those who consumed less potassium.
According to a report by Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, PhD, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues, Women whose mean age is 63.6 years and consumed an excess of potassium each day (>3,193.6 mg) had a 16% lower risk of suffering from a ischemic stroke and 12% lower risk of stroke in comparison to women consuming very little potassium.
Only 3% of women in the study were consuming the recommended 4700 mg or more of potassium daily. This is the amount which is recommended in the nutrition guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The women who did not suffer from hypertension seemed to benefit the most from having higher amounts of potassium in their diets.
The researchers wrote, “Women with hypertension had a lower total mortality risk with higher potassium intake but no lowered risk of stroke, suggesting that higher potassium intake may be of more benefit before hypertension develops. Healthcare providers, therefore, may wish to reinforce the importance of a potassium-rich diet especially among postmenopausal women.” One of the most commonly available diet rich in Potassium is Banana. So eat Bananas for a healthy heart, if you’re not diabetic.
There have been a number of studies which examined the possible effects of potassium on stroke with mixed results. 30 years ago a study found that women consuming <49 mmol of potassium daily had a relative risk of 4.8 (P=0.01) when compared with women eating >49 mmol of potassium.
In spite of constraints the researchers have concluded that higher potassium consumption could protect post menopausal women against ischemic stroke, death from all causes, and small vessel disease.