Labels on Potassium Supplements May Confuse
Aug 21, 2013 - 3:35:53 PM
Potassium supplements are used to treat or prevent potassium deficiency and are commonly taken by people on certain diuretic antihypertensive drugs which cause potassium loss. Potassium deficiency can cause muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, listlessness, mood change, nausea, and vomiting. Potassium supplementation may also help lower blood pressure in people who consume high amounts of sodium. Sales of potassium supplements in the U.S. were estimated at $95 million in 2012 according to Nutrition Business Journal.
ConsumerLab.com tested supplements to determine if they contained their listed amounts of potassium; did not exceed contamination limits for lead; and, if pills, would properly break apart. All products passed these tests. However, it found brands differed on how labels portrayed the amount of potassium in the products. Potassium is chemically unstable and, therefore, is always bound to compounds which stabilize it. Potassium makes up far less than half of the weight of most of these potassium compounds, accounting for only 16.7% of the weight of potassium gluconate, 38.3% of potassium citrate and 52% of potassium chloride. Consequently, a product named "Potassium Gluconate 595 mg" will actually contain only about 99 mg of active "elemental" potassium. This important fact may be missed by many consumers when only disclosed in the "Supplement Facts" panel on the back of the bottle.
"We are glad that the findings for this group of potassium products were positive, but consumers should be aware that this is not always the case. In addition, they must carefully read the "Supplement Facts" panel on labels to be sure they are choosing a product with the right dose of potassium," said Tod Cooperman, M.D., ConsumerLab.com's president.
ConsumerLab.com's Potassium Supplements Review is available at https://www.consumerlab.com/
The report also provides information about the forms of potassium, dosage for specific uses, concerns and cautions with potassium supplement use, and additional clinical information.
ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. Membership to ConsumerLab.com is available online , providing immediate access to reviews of more than 1,000 products from over 400 brands. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. ConsumerLab.com is affiliated withPharmacyChecker.com, which helps consumers evaluate online pharmacies and compare drug prices, and MedicareDrugPlans.com, which reviews and rates Medicare Part D plans.
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