POTASSIUM and THIAMIN (VITAMIN B-1) in HEART DISEASE by Charles Weber, MS
I recommend that you seek additional advice before using any information in this article.
ABSTRACT Insufficient potassium and vitamin B-1 (thiamin) can not damage the heart significantly when both are deficient. This has very important implications when supplementing each during heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Cardiovascular disease remains as the #1 cause of mortality. About 50% of heart failure patients will perish in 5-years. At age 40, life time risk of developing heart failure is 1 in 5. Diastolic dysfunction heart failure prevalence has increased to 50% of all heart failure. Most of the heart disease in western societies is probably either caused by or is greatly enhanced by a potassium deficiency. Potassium has been used in heart disease therapy since 1930 . Potassium enriched table salt almost halved the mortality from cardiovascular disease of retired men studied in China over a 31 month period . Permanent damage can be inflicted on the heart and kidneys of animals by potassium restriction .
However it is possible for a dangerous imbalance with respect to thiamine (vitamin B-1) can arise from potassium supplements if animal experiments are an indication. If potassium supplements are given during the wet heart disease of beri beri (vitamin B-1 deficiency), the heart disease is made much worse . Wet heart disease of beri-beri is impossible if potassium is also deficient . Instead a muscular atrophy similar to that from vitamin E deficiency appears . Hove and Herndon suspect that muscular dystrophy is a potassium deficiency since body potassium is low during muscular dystrophy . During a vitamin B-1 deficiency the heart loses potassium . This may be why heart damage in beriberi resembles that in a potassium deficiency. The chemistry of vitamin B-1 in the body is extremely complicated and determining its status by chemical tests is very difficult (this article shows the chemistry in great detail)[36 Wooley]. One symptom of a vitamin B-1 deficiency is lactic acid acidosis . Why the heart should be protected by a deficiency of both potassium and vitamin B-1 is strange, and I know no explanation for it.
Some of the symptoms of heart disease are shortness of breath, swelling of the legs and ankles and occasionally the abdomen, fatigue and weakness, loss of appetite and nausea, reduced urination, and persistent cough which sometimes produces mucus or blood tinged sputum. DISCUSSION
It could be the sulfur dioxide in most wines might be part of the reason why wine statistically protects people from the more prevalent potassium deficient heart disease because sulfites in most wines destroy vitamin B-1 in the intestines. Wine also has a poison in it that interferes with potassium excretion , and this would intensify the problem with vitamin B-1 destruction for those who start to take potassium supplements. Please keep in mind that the necrosis of heart tissue discussed here is not the same as cardiovascular disease of blood vessels, which is probably usually from a copper deficiency.
It is obvious that if potassium supplements are given, it is very important that the vitamin B-1 intake must be adequate at the same time, and one third of heart disease patients are deficient in thiamin .
Adding potassium sulfate to a processed food diet should have the same effect as adding sulfuric acid to a normal diet, whatever that is. In any case, sulfate and phosphate increases potassium excretion . Phosphate is probably very dangerous for those with heart disease. Excess phosphate has caused 100 per cent mortality during heart disease , so potassium probably should not be provided as the phosphate. Soft drinks often are high in phosphoric acid.
Potassium bicarbonate has been shown to be not as quick as the chloride in relieving a deficiency both as to reducing cell sodium content and raising plasma levels of potassium . However, potassium as the chloride should have the same affect on heart disease as potassium from unprocessed food coupled with hydrochloric acid supplements, whatever that is. There are times when this might be disadvantageous. However, even so, potassium chloride reduces blood pressure in sodium loaded spontaneously hypertensive rats and protects them from kidney damage  (and no doubt from heart disease).This may be because of difficulty in handling hydrogen ion (acid) in some forms of high blood pressure. Support is given to this possibility since sodium bicarbonate lowered blood pressure 5 mm of mercury while sodium chloride had no affect , possibly partly because sodium chloride was already high in their diet. Any designation of high blood pressure must be by comparing the pressure to the average among low sodium chloride intake people . Both sodium and chloride are necessary for pressure augmentation . This phenomenon may be involved with 18 hydroxy deoxycorticosterone steroid hormone (18 OHDOC) because that hormone is raised in one of the forms of high blood pressure  and that hormone is the hormone used by the body to increase acid excretion. Chloride as the potassium salt increases blood pressure somewhat though. All these complications are arguments to eat only undamaged food and get as much nourishment from food as possible
Diabetics should keep in mind a new discovery that type 1 diabetics excrete vitamin B-1 four times normal people and type 2 three times, which leads to a vitamin B-1 content in plasma one fourth as high in diabetics. This is due to a malfunction of thiamin absorption in the proximal kidney tubules. Erythrocyte (red blood cells) vitamin B-1 was normal in diabetics, probably because there were increased thiamin transporters THTR-1 RFC-1 in the cell wall. Therefore erythrocyte thiamin can not be used to determine thiamin status .
Since diabetics are usually deficient in potassium, it seems that it is highly probable that they should never use potassium unless they correct the vitamin B-1 at the same time and the reverse.
The reverse is also the case. Vitamin B-1 supplements should be dangerous for people with low potassium. Since cell potassium is always low in rheumatoid arthritis , such people should not take vitamin B-1 without potassium. This may be part of the reason why people with rheumatoid arthritis (but not osteoarthritis) have a much higher heart disease rate than others . It is not possible to rely on plasma or serum potassium determinations because when the blood of arthritics is drawn the platelets release potassium into the plasma . Even so, 80% of people with rheumatic heart disease have low blood plasma potassium content .
All purpose vitamin capsules contain no potassium but usually contain vitamin B-1. Some contain 1,000% of the recommended daily intake and one even contains 5,000%. This is -dangerous for most heart disease in the absence of potassium supplements, but I do not know what definitive affect it has on rheumatoid arthritis.
It is extremely important to determine what kind of heart disease a patient has because of the potassium / vitamin B-1 imbalance. As much of essential vitamins and minerals should be obtained from food as possible in or out of a hospital, because nutrient interactions are complicated and correcting deficiencies is difficult for doctors and sometimes dangerous. For patients it is almost impossible to get it correctly. Food is usually safe and balanced for people with no genetic defect if unprocessed, varied, and free of poison. Food processors have no legitimate excuse for destroying or poisoning the food. They have PhDs in nutrition and food technology.
IDEAL POTASSIUM INTAKE If every one had an average intake of potassium equal to his fair share of the as grown potassium, they would receive about 3,500 milligrams per day. After processing losses and uneaten food is subtracted from the total [37 Adelson], my best guess is that the average daily intake is about 2,000 milligrams per day [38 Economic]. Keep in mind that half the people are eating less than the average. Old people have an intake less than the average [39 Dall & Gardner]. [40 Dall, et al], which is no doubt at least partly due to a lower caloric intake. Black people in Georgia average 1,500 milligrams per day, while their white neighbors average 2,000 milligrams [41Grim 1970] [42 Grim 1980]. I say the above is an unacceptably high loss. Anyone taking a pay cut like that would be very, very unhappy.
Low potassium intake is also somewhat implicated in high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis , and kidney stones. Potassium ingested as the chloride can actually raise blood pressure (hypertension) slightly. Potassium has been found to increase bone density [43 Tucker].
One third of the world’s children are under weight and malnourished. 20,000 die of hunger each year [45 Gitlin]. We can ill afford to deliberately destroy any of our food by processors.
I would suggest that a partial solution to the problem of poor potassium nutrition would be to place a tax on all food that has had potassium removed by food processors and completely fund all Medicare, Medicaid, and workman’s compensation for injuries and disease that relate to rheumatoid arthritis, gout, heart disease, and high blood pressure. This would also take the onerous tax burden now incurred for them and place it on the shoulders of those who cause the problem. And this tax burden is not the only burden. Half the bankruptcies in the USA are caused by medical bills. Achieving this would be much more likely if the money was removed from politics by public funding of election campaigns and there were runoff elections. It would be the best bargain for use of public funds we would ever have made. The Health Freedom Foundation is currently attempting to solve the problem by lobbying government legislatures to change the laws and agencies organizations. Michael Jacobson and Kelly Brownell of the Center for Science in the Public Interest have proposed a small tax on soft drinks and candy to finance public nutrition education. This would be a small step in the correct direction, but inadequate by itself. Another idea to help the nutrition of our society by Dan O’Keefe is to require all supermarkets to provide a computer that tells a shopper which brands should not be eaten for each of the degenerative diseases (for instance food containing sulfite not to be eaten by those suffering from beri-beri caused heart disease).
EPILOGUE Dr. Reza Rastmanesh from Iran has performed a large controlled clinical trial testing potassium supplements against rheumatoid arthritis with dramatic decreases in pain in all subjects and increases of cortisol [46 Rastmanesh]. He would now like to continue his clinical research testing potassium in conjunction with other nutrients, especially magnesium, in an English speaking country. His credentials are impressive. If you know of any rheumatology department able to employ him, please contact me at; isoptera at att.net , and I will send you his curriculum vitae.
Also it has been found that curcumin in turmeric or curry powder will inhibit several forms of cancer, including melanoma. People who live in India where these spices are eaten, have one tenth the cancer elsewhere. It must be used with caution because it can sometimes aggravate the situation [Stix].
There is strong evidence that taurine could have beneficial affects on type I diabetes, and could reduce organ peroxidation and plasma lipids. The retina, lens, and nerves respond better to taurine than other organs [Franconi]. Taurine has been used for high blood pressure [Fujita], migraine headache (I suspect that less than 1000 milligrams can remove the headache or eye ache caused by allergy to peanuts), high cholesterol, epilepsy, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, liver disorders, alcoholism, and cystic fibrosis, and depression. Keep in mind that some people may have a genetic defect that limits the amount of taurine tolerated and that adequate molybdenum may be desirable. Taurine may make a copper deficiency worse, based on a single case history [Brien Quirk, private communication]. This may be because taurine may be mobilizing copper and zinc into the plasma [Li]. So if you should decide to take taurine, make sure your copper intake is more than adequate, as well as your zinc. Taurine may be obtaind from health food stores as capsules.
The author has a degree in chemistry and a master of science degree in soil science. He has researched this subject for 40 years, primarily library research. He has cured his own early onset of rheumatoid arthritis. He has published articles on allied subjects in; The Journal of Theoretical Biology (1970, 1983), The Journal of Applied Nutrition (1974) which gained the best article of the year award, Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology (1983), and Medical Hypotheses (1984, 1999, 2007, 2008) This article is solely funded by the author and no advertisements are knowingly included.
Send email to Charles Weber; ----- isoptera at att.net - or; phone = 828 692 5816 (USA)All printed rights to this article are reserved. Electronic rights are waived.
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