‘More bananas and fewer crisps can help ward off strokes’, the Daily Mail reports, saying a study has found that people with high potassium intake have a 24% reduced risk of stroke. Researchers are also reported to say that lowering salt intake could increase benefits further.
Advice to switch from eating crisps to eating bananas is sound, but do we really need to boost our potassium intake?
The headlines stem from a well-conducted systematic review of global evidence on the effects of higher potassium concentration on cardiovascular health in healthy adults.
Good quality evidence suggests that boosting potassium intake to the recommended daily levels is associated with a decrease in blood pressure (by a few mmHg) compared to lower intakes. However, this effect was only found for people with high blood pressure.
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