Europe approves important health claims for the mineral Potassium for relating to blood pressure, muscle and neurological function
The following are approved health claims in European Union member countries for the mineral Potassium. Potassium is required for metabolic activities in the nervous system, in muscle and in the heart and circulatory system.
The European Food Safety Authority has been busily reviewing submitted data in relation to health claims for nutritional supplements. The following has been taken verbatim from their journal; EFSA Journal 2010; 8(2):1469 [17 pp.].
Potassium and muscular and neurological function (ID 320, 386)
The claimed effects are “signal transduction and muscle contraction” and “nerve function”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The Panel considers that maintenance of normal muscular and neurological function is a beneficial physiological effect.
On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of potassium and normal muscular and neurological function.
Potassium and its effects on blood pressure (ID 321)
The claimed effect is “blood pressure”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The Panel considers that maintenance of normal blood pressure is a beneficial physiological effect.
In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that, even if one meta-analysis of RCTs (randomized controlled trials) did not observe an effect on BP (blood pressure) following potassium supplementation, most observational and most of the RCTs reviewed in three meta-analyses, two of them including well controlled trials and adjustment for confounders, report a significant association/effect between potassium intake and lower BP. Although not all authoritative bodies agree on this association, European and American professional associations recommend to increase dietary potassium intakes for the prevention and management of human hypertension and biologically plausible mechanisms for these effects have been proposed.