Potassium and Autoimmune Disease

Potassium and Autoimmune Disease

“Potassium and Autoimmune Disease” Potassium is best known for lowering blood pressure
and stroke risk, but a randomized, double-blinded,
placebo-controlled trial of potassium supplementation was tried in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, published in the Journal of Pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is kind of the
classic autoimmune inflammatory arthritis. Sufferers tend to have inappropriately
low glucocorticoid levels, which are circulating steroid
hormones (like cortisol) that suppress inflammation. And so, low levels may allow
for more inflammation. Glucocorticoids also help our
kidneys excrete potassium. And so, when we eat a lot of potassium, our adrenal glands secrete
more glucocorticoids, so we don’t build up too much. And so, maybe if you gave people with rheumatoid arthritis
some extra potassium, it would boost steroid levels, and help with the inflammation. So, they bumped their daily intake up to 6,500 [milligrams] a day— still not reflective of our
evolutionary heritage, but at least they were making
the cut for adequate intake. And, indeed, higher potassium intake was associated with an improvement in rheumatoid arthritis, and a lower disease activity
and pain intensity, “reflecting an anti-pain
effect for potassium.” And so, they suggest planning
a successful dietary regimen, including much more use
of leafy vegetables. Those placed on a plant-based diet experience a significant increase in potassium intake. Though even those eating vegan aren’t eating enough greens, on average, maybe that bump in potassium helps explain why plant-based diets are so effective at treating
rheumatoid arthritis. If this is the mechanism, though, if potassium-rich foods boost natural anti-inflammatory
hormones in the body, then it should work for other inflammatory
conditions, too, right? Well, that’s exactly what
was suggested recently. Some studies have shown vegetarian diets improve psoriasis symptoms, for example. Maybe this is why, speculating
a “Cortisol-Potassium theory as a novel mechanism for [the]
beneficial effects of vegetarian diets.”


  • balderdashery G says:

    I would try the plant based diet and give it month. I was starting to get RA in my hands (about 2 years) and I started noticing improvement within a week. Dairy is not good for RA.

  • organicsuperman says:

    I'm addicted to dates, as an endurance athlete.

  • lneasy2 says:

    I wonder if that is also true for dogs. Why do domesticated dogs get arthritis? In the wild, they would bring down herbivores and injest raw blood an organ tissue, which would contain more potassium. But we feed our dogs dog food made by cereal companies, or artificial dog food with some meat in it. I wonder if supplementing a dogs diet with potassium could lessen the occurance of arthritis in dogs?

  • David J Kelly says:

    I'm 53 and eat mostley raw fruits and vegetable. I follow a low-fat vegan diet. I have never before experienced the health and vitality I do now, and there is still much room for improvement.

  • brunoz says:

    i'm starting to speculate that smoking pot raises ones potassium levels? Burnt plant matter leaves you with ash, which is potassium? What is weed smoke? Stronger immune system? Anti-inflamation? Treating arthritis and cancer? this sounds eerily similar to health benefits experience with chronice pot use

  • dodrod says:

    I've had severe psoriasis since the age of 9. I'm now 24. Nothing has been more effective than a low fat raw vegan diet! I've had less inflammation during three weeks of a raw vegan diet than 10+ years of daily coats of topical steroids.

  • MyChippy00 says:

    I don't get it. Why only leafy greens? Bananas are amazing for potassium!

  • Aaron Kay says:

    15 bananas are almost 7000mg of potassium, that's my breakfast. I get heaps of the stuff!

  • iwasborntobefly says:

    they are not as great as you think. when ranked, they are a bit low. i don't know which of his videos ranked potas sources, but it was low relative to other sources. maybe it was in his uprooting the leading causes of death lecture.

  • Jared Fontaine says:

    What about Durianrider and 30 bananas a day?

  • Zephyr López Cervilla says:

    Let me see:
    Average banana weight = 120 g
    Energy 89 kcal/100 g banana, i.e., 106.8 kcal/banana
    Energy 15 bananas/day = 1602 kcal/day exclusively from bananas.

  • Aaron Kay says:

    Pretty much, some days I eat up to 30, was there a point you we're trying to make or just wanted to tell me that? Bananas are a great staple food, especially if you're a distance runner like me, not gonna go run 17 miles on carrot sticks and salads.

  • Aaron Kay says:

    Then depending on if I bought a case of them I'll have another 15 for dinner or lunch 🙂 They're great food for humans too 😛

  • Donald MacLeay says:

    Instead of making the gargantuan leap to vegetarian diets curing all disease, why not simply note potassium's main role as promoting peristalsis, that is muscle contraction. Supplementation with potassium gluconate does cure muscle cramps and constipation, and excess coughing. What are you going to do when the science points to increased suicide from eating onions and peas?

  • S miles says:

    We should not just be eating vegetarian, but vegan because animal products promote the risk of the top 15 causes of death in america. We gain more weight per the same mount of calories from animal products compared to vegetables and animal products encourage cancer growth. Watch this guy's video called "Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death".

  • Carmen Francis says:

    @mrbullydog66 If you or someone you love is suffering from an autoimmune disorder than the information you are about to get are critically important…
    Go here ==> autoimmunediseasetv.blogspot.com

  • ilienicolae says:

    Ancient alchemist era? 🙂 98% of alchemists are dead (at list their minds) . So eat your ash! 😀

  • TheAstrius says:

    Meat is not just survival food KennyLovesFruit.
    Rotten meat is a known and working way to cleanse the body of disease and contamination.
    Meat also allowed us to evolve past the dumb monkeys who only ate leaves and shit.

  • PoweredbyPlants says:

    @Donald MacLeay Because you can NOT supplement your way to good health! Supplement only as a last resort. Whole plants nourish, whole plants heal.

    Regarding joint health though, could it be as simple as a matter of of dehydration in some cases?

  • Donya Lane says:

    I once saw a chart of foods high in potassium, and apricots in season were WAY higher than bananas. In fact, there were several other foods higher than bananas. Do some research, folks. We need the variety!

  • Austin Dobbins says:

    How do I know if I consume too much potassium? Is this something a blood test can show or urine sample?

  • An account says:

    Very good vid, Dr. Greger! I'm an autoimmune disease sufferer and this might be quite valuable for me! I criticize some of your vids but this one is a gem!



  • johnny102marvin says:

    These studies are based upon potassium supplementation. Why are you Dr. Greger so anti potassium supplementation since most of these studies are based upon potassium supplements. Are you against supplements because it doesn't fit your world view of totally whole plant food diet.

  • Macarena Malarcón says:

    Le agradecería la traducción.

  • Judy FIELDS DAVIS says:

    Thank you so much!

  • Closing the Loop says:

    I get between 8000 and 12000 mg of potassium a day from fruit and veggies and one of the first things I noticed was enhanced range of motion and flexibility with less pain

  • Kathleen Gustafson says:

    Modern bananas are bred high in fructose (which is hard for the average person to burn off)and are not a great source of potassium. Root vegetables and spinach and kale are best.

  • miloradvlaovic says:

    Yes… but the Cortisol also elevates the BP, reduces the plasma Testosterone, and exacerbates the negative effects of free radicals so… Is the benefit greater compared to the risks?

  • Lucas Nahuel Cerante says:

    It's impossible paleolithic humans ate so much of those minerals, that's like 24 bananas, or 10 potatoes, imagine a group of 20 humans having to find 200 potatoes EVERY SINGLE DAY! They possibly didn't even eat everyday, let alone got so much potassium, iron and zinc.

  • Brad Hansen says:

    I wonder if that's why my eczema outbreaks stopped when I started a vegetarian diet.

  • Repent & Believe says:

    God made made

  • Charles Jensen says:

    Evolutionary heritage Doctor ?

  • Barnesyrasta says:

    What about acesulfame potassium?

  • Fucking Potatoes says:

    Leafy greens are honestly so expensive though. I'm trying my damndest to eat enough, but I have to take my broke ass wallet into account. I'm thinking of starting a small indoor garden or when it gets warm growing leafy greens outside.

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