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A banana and an avocado every day for hardening the arteries?
If people consume an insufficient amount of potassium every day, it can cause significant health problems. The lack of potassium even threatens those affected with dangerous cardiovascular diseases. However, there is an easy way to avoid this. Consuming just one banana and one avocado a day is enough to prevent hardening of the arteries, which can later lead to dramatic heart disease.
Scientists at the University of Alabama found in a recent study that daily consumption of just one banana and one avocado can protect against dangerous heart diseases. The experts published the results of their study in the "JCI Insight" journal.
If foods contain a lot of potassium, they can reduce vascular calcification
For the current study, it was investigated how potassium-rich foods can prevent hardening of the arteries and reduce the occurrence of vascular calcification. The doctors found that eating one banana and one avocado was enough to avoid many heart diseases. In addition, reducing vascular calcifications had a far-reaching impact on the likelihood of heart and kidney diseases, the scientists explain. A diet rich in potassium can also reduce the risk of developing aortic stenosis. Aortic stenosis is a common heart valve defect that is one of the classic cardiovascular risk factors.
What are vascular calcifications?
Vascular calcifications usually occur when calcium begins to accumulate in the body tissue, in the blood vessels or in the organs. Such an accumulation of calcium can cause normal processes in the body to be disturbed and the arteries to harden, the experts say.
How does potassium affect the risk of atherosclerosis?
The results of the study show the advantage of a sufficient supply of potassium in the prevention of vascular calcification in mice susceptible to atherosclerosis, according to the author Professor Paul Sanders from the University of Alabama. Of course, the adverse effect of low potassium intake could also be observed in the study. The so-called hardening or stiffening of the arteries is commonly known as arteriosclerosis. This also affects how hard the heart has to work to pump blood through the body.
The experimental animals received three different amounts of potassium in their diet
The research team at the University of Alabama analyzed the effects of dieting with different potassium concentrations in their study on mice. For this purpose, these experimental animals received food which contained either a low, normal or a high concentration of potassium.
Potassium affects arterial hardening
The results found suggest that the mice who were fed a low-potassium diet had significantly more hardening of the arteries compared to animals in which the diet was high in potassium. Such animals generally had much less stiffening of the arteries.
Potassium reduces the hardening of the aorta's main artery
In mice with a potassium-rich diet, it was also found that there was reduced stiffening in the main artery of their aortic body. This effect may be due to a low level of potassium in the blood, which prevents expression of genes that maintain arterial flexibility, the researchers say. (as)