In Northeast Thailand it is common for people to have low levels of potassium and magnesium and reduced Na/K pump activity, possibly secondary to soil depletion. The present study was done to evaluate the value of replacement therapy of various combinations of potassium and magnesium supplements.
The patients were kidney stone patients. They were divided into groups of four and given one of the following supplements: potassium chloride (group 1,) potassium-sodium citrate (group 2,) chelated magnesium (group 3) or potassium-magnesium citrate (group 4.) Each person received 40 mmol potassium and 60 mmol magnesium per day.
Following the prescribed treatment, groups 1, 2 and 4 had an increase in serum potassium and an increase in Na/K pump activity. Only, groups 2 and 4 had an increase in erythrocyte potassium activity. Group 2, which received chelated magnesium, had an increase in serum potassium, erythrocyte potassium, magnesium and sodium, without much increase in Na/K pump activity. Potassium-magnesium citrate supplementation worked best with increased erythrocyte potassium and magnesium, increased Na/K pump activity and reduced erythrocyte sodium.
CONCLUSION: The type of supplementation used for replacement of potassium and magnesium is important. Potassium-magnesium seems to be highly beneficial of the various supplements used.
NOTE: The Na/K pump activity across cell walls is necessary to maintain proper cellular pH across the cell wall. Excessive pump activity is part of the process of carcinogenesis and block of the pump is believed to be a treatment for some cancers. Read about the ability of cardiotonic steroids and their ability to inhibit the sodium pump and alter cancer risk.
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