Dr. Ron’s Research Review – March 24, 2010

 

Potassium

Two articles on potassium are available.

Beneficial effects of potassium on human health

Urinary potassium is a clinically useful test to detect a poor quality diet

Aromatase and Kidney Stones

Kidney stones increase after menopause, suggesting a role for estrogen deficiency. A recent research study in mice found that aromatase deficiency causes altered expression of molecules critical for calcium reabsorption in the kidneys of female mice, and proposed that estrogen deficiency caused by aromatase inactivation is sufficient for renal calcium loss. (Oz, Hajibeigi et al. 2007)

Quote of the Week

The quote of the week comes from The Annals of Pharmacotherapy (2010)

Our recommendation is that vitamins A, E, D, folic acid, and niacin should be categorized as over-the-counter medications. Labeling of vitamins, especially those intended for children and other vulnerable groups, should include information on possible toxicities, dosing, recommended upper intake limits, and concurrent use with other products. Vitamin A should be excluded from multivitamin supplements and food fortificants. (Rogovik, Vohra et al. 2010)

 


Beneficial effects of potassium on human health

            (He and MacGregor 2008) Download

Until recently, humans consumed a diet high in potassium. However, with the increasing consumption of processed food, which has potassium removed, combined with a reduction in the consumption of fruits and vegetables, there has been a large decrease in potassium intake which now, in most developed countries, averages around 70 mmol day-1, i.e. only one third of our evolutionary intake. Much evidence shows that increasing potassium intake has beneficial effects on human health. Epidemiological and clinical studies show that a high-potassium diet lowers blood pressure in individuals with both raised blood pressure and average population blood pressure. Prospective cohort studies and outcome trials show that increasing potassium intake reduces cardiovascular disease mortality. This is mainly attributable to the blood pressure-lowering effect and may also be partially because of the direct effects of potassium on the cardiovascular system. A high-potassium diet may also prevent or at least slow the progression of renal disease. An increased potassium intake lowers urinary calcium excretion and plays an important role in the management of hypercalciuria and kidney stones and is likely to decrease the risk of osteoporosis. Low serum potassium is strongly related to glucose intolerance, and increasing potassium intake may prevent the development of diabetes that occurs with prolonged treatment with thiazide diuretics. Reduced serum potassium increases the risk of lethal ventricular arrhythmias in patients with ischaemic heart disease, heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy, and increasing potassium intake may prevent this. The best way to increase potassium intake is to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

 

Urinary potassium is a clinically useful test to detect a poor quality diet

            (Mente, Irvine et al. 2009) Download

Poor eating habits, a strong predictor of health outcomes, are not objectively assessed in routine clinical practice. In this study, we evaluated the use of urinary potassium (K(+)) as a means to identify people consuming a poor quality diet. Consecutive patients with kidney stones (n = 220), aged 18-50 y, from a population-based lithotripsy unit, collected a single 24-h urine sample to assess urinary K(+). They also completed a FFQ to derive the recommended foods score (RFS), an index of overall diet quality, and had their blood pressure, heart rate, weight, and height measured. Urinary K(+) was related positively with the intake of recommended food items, including vegetables, fruit, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fish and poultry, and wine and negatively to those not recommended by current dietary guidelines, including red meat, fast food, and high-energy drinks. Urinary K(+) was also correlated with the RFS (r = 0.226; P < 0.001). Using a receiver operating characteristic curve, K(+) excretion values below the gender-specific median (men, 60 mmol/d; women, 41 mmol/d) were identified as the optimal cutoff values for a poor quality diet, indicated by the RFS. Higher urinary K(+) was inversely related to adjusted BMI (P-trend = 0.03), diastolic blood pressure (P-trend = 0.04) and heart rate (P-trend = 0.006), after controlling for potential confounders. Urinary K(+) provides a summary measure of diet quality, is significantly related to BMI, blood pressure, and heart rate, and may be useful clinically to detect poor dietary habits and monitor response to dietary interventions.

 

Aromatase deficiency causes altered expression of molecules critical for calcium reabsorption in the kidneys of female mice

            (Oz, Hajibeigi et al. 2007) Download

Kidney stones increase after menopause, suggesting a role for estrogen deficiency. ArKO mice have hypercalciuria and lower levels of calcium transport proteins, whereas levels of the klotho protein are elevated. Thus, estrogen deficiency is sufficient to cause altered renal calcium handling. INTRODUCTION: The incidence of renal stones increases in women after menopause, implicating a possible role for estrogen deficiency. We used the aromatase deficient (ArKO) mouse, a model of estrogen deficiency, to test the hypothesis that estrogen deficiency would increase urinary calcium excretion and alter the expression of molecular regulators of renal calcium reabsorption. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Adult female wildtype (WT), ArKO, and estradiol-treated ArKO mice (n = 5-12/group) were used to measure urinary calcium in the fed and fasting states, relative expression level of some genes involved in calcium reabsorption in the distal convoluted tubule by real-time PCR, and protein expression by Western blotting or immunohistochemistry. Plasma membrane calcium ATPase (PMCA) activity was measured in kidney membrane preparations. ANOVA was used to test for differences between groups followed by posthoc analysis with Dunnett's test. RESULTS: Compared with WT, urinary Ca:Cr ratios were elevated in ArKO mice, renal mRNA levels of transient receptor potential cation channel vallinoid subfamily member 5 (TRPV5), TRPV6, calbindin-D28k, the Na+/Ca+ exchanger (NCX1), and the PMCA1b were significantly decreased, and klotho mRNA and protein levels were elevated. Estradiol treatment of ArKO mice normalized urinary calcium excretion, renal mRNA levels of TRPV5, calbindin-D(28k), PMCA1b, and klotho, as well as protein levels of calbindin-D28k and Klotho. ArKO mice treated with estradiol had significantly greater PMCA activity than either untreated ArKO mice or WT mice. CONCLUSIONS: Estrogen deficiency caused by aromatase inactivation is sufficient for renal calcium loss. Changes in estradiol levels are associated with coordinated changes in expression of many proteins involved in distal tubule calcium reabsorption. Estradiol seems to act at the genomic level by increasing or decreasing (klotho) protein expression and nongenomically by increasing PMCA activity. PMCA, not NCX1, is likely responsible for extruding calcium in response to in vivo estradiol hormonal challenge. These data provide potential mechanisms for regulation of renal calcium handling in response to changes in serum estrogen levels.

 

Safety considerations and potential interactions of vitamins: should vitamins be considered drugs?

            (Rogovik, Vohra et al. 2010) Download

OBJECTIVE: To examine adverse effects, adverse events, and potential interactions of vitamins in light of their current prevalence of use, and to discuss whether vitamins should be considered over-the-counter drugs or natural health products/dietary supplements. DATA SOURCES: We performed a MEDLINE/PubMed search, explored 4 online databases (Medline Plus, Drug Digest, Natural Medicine Comprehensive Database, and the database of the University of Maryland), and examined reference lists of included studies published from 1966 through October 2009. STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: The studies were reviewed, with an emphasis on randomized controlled clinical trials. We included articles with the most clinically important information with regard to adverse events and interactions. DATA SYNTHESIS: Vitamins are used by over one third of the North American population. Vitamins have documented adverse effects and toxicities, and most have documented interactions with drugs. While some vitamins (biotin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin B(12), vitamin K) have minor and reversible adverse effects, others, such as fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D), can cause serious adverse events. Two water-soluble vitamins, folic acid and niacin, can also have significant toxicities and adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: Our recommendation is that vitamins A, E, D, folic acid, and niacin should be categorized as over-the-counter medications. Labeling of vitamins, especially those intended for children and other vulnerable groups, should include information on possible toxicities, dosing, recommended upper intake limits, and concurrent use with other products. Vitamin A should be excluded from multivitamin supplements and food fortificants.

 

 

References

He, F. J. and G. A. MacGregor (2008). "Beneficial effects of potassium on human health." Physiol Plant 133(4): 725-35.

Mente, A., E. J. Irvine, et al. (2009). "Urinary potassium is a clinically useful test to detect a poor quality diet." J Nutr 139(4): 743-9.

Oz, O. K., A. Hajibeigi, et al. (2007). "Aromatase deficiency causes altered expression of molecules critical for calcium reabsorption in the kidneys of female mice *." J Bone Miner Res 22(12): 1893-902.

Rogovik, A. L., S. Vohra, et al. (2010). "Safety considerations and potential interactions of vitamins: should vitamins be considered drugs?" Ann Pharmacother 44(2): 311-24.