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How Much Potassium to begin with?

Googsta

Doing Well
Messages
390
Location
Australia
I just started the simplified protocol, I am up to 2 x Neuro Health Formula & 1 x Lecithin. I hope to introduce some B12's next week.

I started one 99 mg Potassium Gluconate but am wondering if I should be spreading it out over the day?
Is that dose enough for the time being?
Should I just increase it as I go/have pain etc?

I'm also supplementing Magnesium, Fish Oils, Zinc, Vit D3 with Calcium (having issues with absorbancy/deficient), CoQ10.

Any help is greatly appreciated :)
 

L'engle

moogle
Messages
3,167
Location
Canada
The need for potassium will likely come in when/if you start taking methyl b12. I found it took about 3 days to start and then from that point I needed 1000mg or more of potassium any day that I took methyl b12. If it feels like too much and you want to catch up on the potassium, take a day off from the b12 and the potassium should re-regulate. People havea variety of symptoms from low potassium. mine are usually shooting leg cramps and weakness that is different from my usual ME weakness. If you become low in potassium I think it is difficult to take too much unless you take a lot over time, but you may want to be cautious. If you start having strange symptoms that suspect may be low potassium, try 200mg potassium and see if they go away in half an hour then another 200mg to see if that does it. I don't think 4-500mg of potassium would be dangerous, from what I understand. you can tell pretty easily if that alleviates the symptoms.
 

Googsta

Doing Well
Messages
390
Location
Australia
Thanks L'engle, I might just hold off on it until I start the B12's then as I don't think I have any symptoms of low potassium at the moment. ;)
 

Gestalt

Senior Member
Messages
251
Location
Canada
A glass of quality orange juice has 500mg of potassium.
The coconut water I drink has over 1200mg for 2 cups.
An avocado has 540mg.


The reason potassium pills are limited to 99mg is because elemental potassium in supplement forms is dangeorusly toxic in high doses. It can kill tissue.

However, in food its perfectly safe because of the form it's in.

RDA for potassium is 4700mg, if you think you can supplement your way there with toxic 99mg pills, call an ambulance first. You're probably going to need it.

Chart your food, check it's potassium content, make sure your getting RDA. Most people are not even close to half of RDA.....
 

Ema

Senior Member
Messages
4,729
Location
Midwest USA

The reason potassium pills are limited to 99mg is because elemental potassium in supplement forms is dangeorusly toxic in high doses. It can kill tissue.

I don't disagree with the statement to get potassium from whole foods but the reality of the situation is that for many people (especially those on potassium wasting drugs like Florinef), food based potassium is not enough to keep levels optimal and low potassium symptoms at bay.

I also agree that the 99 mg OTC supplements are not the best for significantly raising potassium levels. The body has a feedback mechanism that keeps potassium from getting too high. If you take a large dose of potassium all at once, the body will just dump a commensurate amount of potassium in the urine. The net gain of potassium will be minimal. The only way around this according to my doctor is to take slow release potassium.

It is very important to have regular electrolyte labs while supplementing potassium in any significant amounts because high potassium all at once is very dangerous especially to the heart. But I have never heard of it killing tissue except perhaps if an IV line infiltrates (which is not going to happen with oral supps).

Just like with anything, there are benefits and risks, but in my opinion, the benefits to potassium supplementation make the risks worth managing.
 
Messages
2,562
Location
US
I am just taking 4 pills at a time, because 4 or 5 times a day is the most I can handle. I needed more pills every day, I might take 6 at a time.
 

Gestalt

Senior Member
Messages
251
Location
Canada
I am just taking 4 pills at a time, because 4 or 5 times a day is the most I can handle. I needed more pills every day, I might take 6 at a time.

Taking a bunch of small pills at once is like taking a high dose fast release pill. I think your getting really close to dangerous levels, and I would not advise this. It's your life however, you make the decision. I would consider this though:

"The potassium in health food store pills is limited to less than
100 mg by law. The basic reason is that high concentrations of
potassium, such as might be present in a bigger rapid release pill, can
kill cells and cause tissue necrosis. Part of the intestine then gets
a hole in it, and that causes big problems. The prescription drugs are
rigorously formulated to be slow release, so that doesn't happen." Steve Harris, M.D.

Just drink coconut water instead of taking pills, 1 glass of quality coconut water is 600mg potassium. Simple.
 
Messages
2,562
Location
US
Just drink coconut water instead of taking pills, 1 glass of quality coconut water is 600mg potassium. Simple.

I can't afford to drink 3-6 glasses of quality coconut water per day. I would if I could. I hated the taste too, the brand I tried. I would have to mix it in a smoothie.
 

Seadragon

Senior Member
Messages
788
Location
UK
I find the pills don't do enough for me - I need coconut water too.

Coconut water is expensive here in the UK as well. I've been looking in to other ways of getting food state Potassium.

Another option might be a smoothie with a lot of banana in it???

I think people have mentioned melons too - Canteloupe/Honeydew and Watermelons....

I'm going to try these things alongside the coconut water and pills as it might work out less expensive than a ton of coconut water :confused:

Love Esperanza x
 

Googsta

Doing Well
Messages
390
Location
Australia
Thanks Ema, I am not able to get to my doc for a week or so & was concerned which is why I asked.
I'll have him run frequent labs to keep an eye on things.

I'll start out adding more to my diet & see how that goes, but my body doesn't seem to absorb much of anything from food.
I recall someone else trying that instead of supplementing & they had to stop the protocol due to muscular related pain.
 

L'engle

moogle
Messages
3,167
Location
Canada
Many of us take 2000mg potassium a day while on methyl b12. Trying to decrease the amount generally results in low potassium symptoms for many of us. One thing I've notice is that if I limit sodium intake the potassium wasting is less. Also, a good quality magnesium supplement lessens the wasting.
 
Messages
2,562
Location
US
The cheapest food source I found (per mg) is beans. I personally don't eat beans. "White beans provide the most potassium with 561mg (16% DV) per 100 gram serving, 1g (29% DV) per cup cooked. White beans are followed by Adzuki Beans, Soy Beans, Lima Beans, Pinto Beans, Kidney Beans, Great Northern Beans, Navy Beans, Pigeon Peas, Cranberry (Roman) Beans, French Beans, Lentils, Split Peas, Black Beans, Hyancinth, and finally Yardlong Beans with 539mg (15% DV) per cup cooked."

Some other sources besides bananas:
Cup of prune juice (707 mg), cup of cubed cantaloupe (494 mg), cup of diced honeydew melon (461 mg), cup of tomato juice (535 mg), a tomato (400 mg), baked sweet potato with skin (508 mg). Half avocado (450 mg). Half potato with skin (422 mg). 6 oz yogurt (398 mg). 1 tablespoon molasses (498 mg).

My diet probably has 700-1400 mg a day, but I don't see how I could add a lot more without 10-20 or more pills. Unless I could afford the coconut water.
 
Messages
94
Location
NZ
I second the potassium salt option. Most supermarkets carry products like "No Salt" which is a mix of sodium and potassium chloride in a 50/50 mix. If you think about it, the general public use several grams of these salts at a time (cooking and such) and is considered safe.

You could just add a little of these salts to your meals to boost the potassium content.
 
Messages
16
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Taking a bunch of small pills at once is like taking a high dose fast release pill. I think your getting really close to dangerous levels, and I would not advise this. It's your life however, you make the decision. I would consider this though:

"The potassium in health food store pills is limited to less than
100 mg by law. The basic reason is that high concentrations of
potassium, such as might be present in a bigger rapid release pill, can
kill cells and cause tissue necrosis. Part of the intestine then gets
a hole in it, and that causes big problems. The prescription drugs are
rigorously formulated to be slow release, so that doesn't happen." Steve Harris, M.D.

Just drink coconut water instead of taking pills, 1 glass of quality coconut water is 600mg potassium. Simple.
Hi Gestalt
Do you have any more references for this ? There seem to be quite a lot of people in the methylation community taking fairly high numbers of potassium tablets without any apparent ill-effects.
Coconut water is expensive where I live too.
Thanks ....
 

Gestalt

Senior Member
Messages
251
Location
Canada
Hi Gestalt
Do you have any more references for this ? There seem to be quite a lot of people in the methylation community taking fairly high numbers of potassium tablets without any apparent ill-effects.
Coconut water is expensive where I live too.
Thanks ....

That quote I got from here: http://yarchive.net/med/potassium.html

also

From another thread Rich posted this:
Hi, all.

As far as I can tell, the reason why the FDA has limited the dosage of over-the-counter potassium supplements to less than 100 mg per pill is to prevent damage to the digestive tract when too much potassium is concentrated at one place.
As has been noted, the daily requirement for potassium is much higher than this, and the Institute of Medicine has not assigned an upper limit for potassium supplementation. When potassium is distributed, such as in food or in a solution, this problem of concentrating at one place does not occur.

also

"Potassium salts are also available in tablets or capsules, which for therapeutic purposes are formulated to allow potassium to leach slowly out of a matrix, as very high concentrations of potassium ion (which might occur next to a solid tablet of potassium chloride) can kill tissue, and cause injury to the gastric or intestinal mucosa. For this reason, non-prescription supplement potassium pills are limited by law in the US to only 99 mg of potassium."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium#Medical_supplementation_and_disease

also

"Since it is recognized that myocardial necrosis may result at very high doses of potassium, we examined the effect of varying concentrations of potassium on myocardial anoxic injury........
Potassium administered in very high doses, i.e., 100 or 200 mEq. of K+ per liter, led to contracture and extensive myocardial cell injury."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/423594
 

Ema

Senior Member
Messages
4,729
Location
Midwest USA
"Potassium salts are also available in tablets or capsules, which for therapeutic purposes are formulated to allow potassium to leach slowly out of a matrix, as very high concentrations of potassium ion (which might occur next to a solid tablet of potassium chloride) can kill tissue, and cause injury to the gastric or intestinal mucosa. For this reason, non-prescription supplement potassium pills are limited by law in the US to only 99 mg of potassium."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium#Medical_supplementation_and_disease

also

"Since it is recognized that myocardial necrosis may result at very high doses of potassium, we examined the effect of varying concentrations of potassium on myocardial anoxic injury........
Potassium administered in very high doses, i.e., 100 or 200 mEq. of K+ per liter, led to contracture and extensive myocardial cell injury."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/423594

Unfortunately, none of these references support the idea that potassium should only come from food sources instead of from supplementation.

One would never take a solid tablet of potassium chloride over 99 mg. They are not even sold that way. They are sold as slow release tablets that almost immediately disperse and then slowly release over the next several hours.

The second cite quotes such high amounts that there is no relationship to oral supplementation. Further it actually states that lower dose potassium supplementation (still 25-30 mEQ/L) is actually effective in reducing cell injury due to anoxia.

No one should undertake potassium supplementation in my opinion without a commitment to regular electrolyte labs and an understanding of the risks and benefits. But the fact remains that for many of us, food alone is not sufficient and the risks from supplementation to tissues as described are minimal.
 

Gestalt

Senior Member
Messages
251
Location
Canada
One would never take a solid tablet of potassium chloride over 99 mg. They are not even sold that way. They are sold as slow release tablets that almost immediately disperse and then slowly release over the next several hours.
Ok, you seem to be seriously obfuscating how two different types of potassium supplements work equating things you shouldn't be. This is very concerning and I believe you are confusing yourself as well as other forum members.
  1. Potassium off the shelf - Usually sold as Potassium Citrate/Gluconate/Asparate, and limited to 99mg. This is the what most people here buy, and this is also the one that is dangerous to start taking half a dozen at a time because it concentrates the dose. This is NOT a slow release tablet.
  2. Potassium via doctors prescription - This comes under many brand names. Let's take Klotrix
    as an example. This is a potassium cholride in a special film-coated wax-matrix tablet....specially designed for slow release purposes. This is "safer" however take note of this precaution on the label EVEN though it's slow release. "​
    BECAUSE OF REPORTS OF INTESTINAL AND GASTRIC ULCERATION AND BLEEDING WITH CONTROLLED-RELEASE POTASSIUM CHLORIDE PREPARATIONS, THESE DRUGS SHOULD BE RESERVED.... "
    http://www.drugs.com/pro/klotrix.html
So you see even the specially designed prescription only slow release potassium tablets have dangers, let alone taking large quantities of the off the shelf non-slow release variety, which is how most people here are doing it!

No one should undertake potassium supplementation in my opinion without a commitment to regular electrolyte labs and an understanding of the risks and benefits. But the fact remains that for many of us, food alone is not sufficient and the risks from supplementation to tissues as described are minimal.
What qualifies you and what references do you have that taking potassium supplements off the shelf in large quantities has minimal risk? This appears to be your biased subjective opinion. Based on 4 of the above references one of which is by Rich, there is a stated danger to supplementing large doses of concentrated off the shelf potassium. This is the very reason for FDA regulations.

You can easily get enough potassium from your diet, you just have to structure your diet and eat the appropriate potassium rich content food.