New results from a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial show that use of potassium supplements can help to boost bone mineral density and microarchitecture of bones in healthy older people.
In addition to supplementation with calcium and vitamin D, the research team found that those receiving the potassium had significantly increased bone mineral density and microarchitecture at a number of sites, including the lumbar spine.
While the benefits of potassium on blood pressure are well-established, this new study offers an insight into the protective effects of potassium also on bone health. There are various mechanisms of how potassium can have this effect, but immediately, my thought was that potassium helps the body retain magnesium (which may also contribute to its blood pressure benefits). Magnesium is essential for proper bone health (and one of the best minerals you can take for cardiovascular health), and happens to be a mineral most people don't consume enough of.
By ensuring the body is supplied with sufficient potassium, it may help maintain magnesium levels, and if people aren't consuming enough magnesium, retaining even just a tiny bit more can potentially have great benefits.
This would be especially true for this study, where the participants were consuming calcium and vitamin D (since unbalanced calcium intake can promote a "relative deficiency" of magnesium). Ensuring a proper balance of calcium and magnesium in the body is important for many more aspect of health besides bone health.
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Source: Effect of Potassium Citrate on Bone Density, Microarchitecture, and Fracture Risk in Healthy Older Adults without Osteoporosis: A Randomized Controlled Trial