Can Potassium Harm You? One More Time!


Hot off the press! My latest article published on HormonesMatter with a ton of extremely important details on potassium.

This article is based on an email discussion I had with an emergency hospital cardiologist friend. It is written in a Q and A style with additional thoughts after each of the doctor’s responses. This article is a bit more medically challenging and revealing than what I wrote before on potassium.

Potassium is an essential but very dangerous mineral!

Comments are welcome, as always, and are moderated for appropriateness


About Angela A Stanton, Ph.D.

Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist focusing on chronic pain--migraine in particular--physiology, electrolyte homeostasis, nutrition, and genetics. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention, and treatment without the use of medicine. As a forever migraineur from childhood, her discovery was helped by experimenting on herself. She found the cause of migraine to be at the ionic level, associated with disruption of the electrolyte homeostasis, resulting from genetic variations of all voltage dependent channels, gates, and pumps (chanelopathy) that modulate electrolyte mineral density and voltage in the brain. In addition, insulin and glucose transporters, and several other variants, such as MTHFR variants of B vitamin methylation process and many others are different in the case of a migraineur from the general population. Migraineurs are glucose sensitive (carbohydrate intolerant) and should avoid eating carbs as much as possible. She is working on her hypothesis that migraine is a metabolic disease. As a result of the success of the first edition of her book and her helping over 5000 migraineurs successfully prevent their migraines world wide, all ages and both genders, and all types of migraines, she published the 2nd (extended) edition of her migraine book "Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: Complete Guide: How To Treat & Prevent Migraines Without Medications". The 2nd edition is the โ€œholy grailโ€ of migraine cause, development, and prevention, incorporating all there is to know. It includes a long section for medical and research professionals. The book is full of academic citations (over 800) to authenticate the statements she makes to make it easy to follow up by those interested and to spark further research interest. It is a "Complete Guide", published on September 29, 2017. Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in Economics with dissertation in neuroscience (culminating in Neuroeconomics) at Claremont Graduate University, fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers, certification in LCHF/ketogenic diet from NN (Nutrition Network), certification in physiology (UPEN via Coursea), Nutrition (Harvard Shool of Public Health) and functional medicine studies. Dr. Stanton is an avid sports fan, currently power weight lifting and kickboxing. For relaxation (yeah.. about a half minute each day), she paints and photographs and loves to spend time with her family of husband of 45 years, 2 sons and their wives, and 2 granddaughters. Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook, LinkedIn at and facebook at
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14 Responses to Can Potassium Harm You? One More Time!

  1. tcjudi says:

    The article is very interesting! It leads me to ask: what is the difference between VT, addressed in the article, and SVT (supraventricular tachycardia). I was admitted to an ER with heart rate of 220 which lasted over 2 hours, and was diagnosed with SVT (or PSVT). I have these spells from time to time but they usually abate in 15-20 minutes. This one required 2 failed attempts with adenosine and finally success with diltiazem (cardizem). It runs in the family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tcjudi, from what I understand, supraventricular tachycardia and ventricular tachycardia have slightly different causes–I am not a heart expert by any means. VT is rare and is associated with an electrical issue–that causes the heart to beat. If I remember correctly, there are 4 nerves that have to beat in sync to have a well-functioning heart with proper heart rate.

      If one of the nerves is out of sync, it may give a PVC, which is a premature heart beat before the actual heart beat. It may have irregularity in all, this is what I suspect VT is and in which case the lower chambers (there are 2 lower and 2 upper chambers) beat faster than they should. This condition needs an electrical reset from what I can see. And SVT is very common. It is similar to VT but this is not dangerous–I am uncertain what the differences are other than SVT can be caused by non-heart issues whereas VT cannot be. Non-heart factors are anxiety, for example.

      None of these conditions warrant the use of supplemental potassium.


  2. chris c says:

    Wow that’s interesting! I assumed that healthy and non-overinsulinised kidneys would simply excrete any excess. My breakfast usually consists of a thickly buttered oatcake with smoked salmon on which I sprinkle some Low-Salt to be on the safe side. Then I use copious salt on my meal(s). I also supplement with,magnesium as it appears to be lacking in much food. When I’ve had my electrolytes checked they have always some back spot in the middle of the range – except once when all my numbers were off which the doctor put down to dehydration

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, if you eat oat cakes with smoked salmon, you eat zero potassium, so in this case it may not be that harmful. Otherwise Low-salt can be harmful. The electrolytes need to be in homeostatic balance to within a narrow pressure range–as in the article–and that’s independent from your kidneys’ health! Some of these nutrients–like magnesium and calcium–in the electrolyte have little meaning because they are not representative of what’s in you cells.

      Sodium and potassium are different, because they are participating in the cell’s respiration. So when one goes in, the other comes out, and all cells differ in timing. So, on average, a blood test will give you the correct reading or the average amount, knowing that, on average, half your cells will have sodium and half potassium out of it and there is a constant motion also because of the refractory period. Not so with some of the other minerals, like calcium and magnesium. So do supplement magnesium. Everyone should.


  3. Roald Michel says:

    “…….our modern food environment is not as healthy as it should be and we are at risk of potentially missing some minerals or vitamins from our diet……..” Hmmm, could there be a (secret) alliance between the food and pharmaceutical industry? ๐Ÿ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

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