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Potassium supplements or food sources (e.g. banana) with B12

axx

Messages
22
I have read the recommendations to take potassium supplements when starting B12 treatment to prevent potassium deficiency during the healing process.

Is it really necessary to take a supplement or will food be sufficient (e.g. bananas contain at least 450 mg each - if I eat 2 per day, will this be enough to mitigate the risks of hypokalemia)?

I read in another thread that people are taking around 1000 mg potassium per day so this is around 2 bananas. I always prefer food sources of nutrients rather than supplements, where possible.

My last blood test had my potassium level at a healthy 4.3 mmol/l (3.5 - 5).
 

axx

Messages
22
Thanks Hixxy. That's what I thought.

I read that Fredd recommended having potassium supplements on hand so I just want to check first that having bananas on hand instead is going to be acceptable and I won't be putting myself at risk.
 

brenda

Senior Member
Messages
2,263
Location
UK
axx

You will put yourself at risk if you do not keep some potassium at hand in case there is an emergency situation of a severe drop in potassium where a couple of bananas will not act quickly enough or be sufficient.
 

axx

Messages
22
Thanks Brenda. Would you recommend starting potassium supplements a few days before commencing b12, at the same time or only in case symptoms of potassium deficiency arise?
 

Calathea

Senior Member
Messages
1,261
The problem with potassium supplements is that too much potassium at once can be very dangerous - which also applies to us, we should be careful with how much we take at once. Anyway, potassium supplements have the minuscule amount of 99mg each for this reason, which isn't enough to get you anywhere. Low-sodium salt is the easiest way to supplement with potassium, just use it as a basic electrolyte drink.

As well as bananas, potatoes are a good dietary source of potassium.
 

maddietod

Senior Member
Messages
2,856
I second Brenda - be sure to have potassium on hand in case the food sources aren't enough. They aren't enough for me; I supplement with 1800mg/day.

Low potassium gives me extremely stiff neck and shoulder muscles, and also mood changes - especially anger/irritability. I call it turning into a hater.

Good luck!

Madie
 

axx

Messages
22
I read somewhere that the risk of potassium depletion is only if the person is severely low on B12 and has been for some time. My B12 is currently 370 pg/mL (273 pmol/L, normal > 180 pmol/L) so hopefully my risk is low, but I will take your advice and have some on hand in case it is needed. Thanks.
 

maddietod

Senior Member
Messages
2,856
Hi, Axx.

I had the muscle cramping for 10 months before all this potassium information came out. I never got severe symptoms.

So my food sources were sufficient to prevent depletion, but not enough to prevent relatively mild problems.

When I switched from the SMP to the active one, still not knowing about potassium, I started getting the mood changes, nausea, headaches, and the cramping got worse. I bought a potassium meter, and found myself at the bottom of the normal range even when supplementing.

My guess is that potassium was the limiting factor, preventing the SMP from working. When I added potassium while on the active protocol, healing of my methylation cycle could build instead of short-circuiting. This resulted in my needing more potassium.

Madie
 

axx

Messages
22
Thanks.

I am still really confused after reading lots of threads on this forum. Are the issues with methylation process something that is specific to me/cfs or does this apply to everyone with B12 deficiencies?
 

maddietod

Senior Member
Messages
2,856
The consensus seems to be that brand doesn't matter. I bought a huge bottle at Sam's Club.

Freddd recommends taking 5 tablets immediately upon experiencing symptoms, and if low potassium is the problem, you'll feel better - within about 20 minutes, I think. Beyond that advice, the amount you might end up needing, daily, is highly individual.

There's a lot of information in threads about how hard it is to overdose on potassium. The RDA is 4700mg, and of course that's without the stress of methylation start-up.
 

L'engle

moogle
Messages
3,173
Location
Canada
When taking methyl b12 and methyl folate, I've NEVER found food sources to be enough. period. Really, you need to at least have potassium on-hand, otherwise, when it suddenly feels like someone is stabbing the back of your leg three days into taking active b12, it will be tough then to go out and get potassium. We all want food sources to be enough but on the active protocol, they just aren't enough for most people.