A new report on the quality of potassium supplements was released by ConsumerLab.com today. Tests showed one product to contain only 18% of the claimed amount of this essential mineral. Potassium supplements are used to treat or prevent potassium deficiency and are commonly taken by people on diuretic drugs that treat high blood pressure but cause potassium loss. Deficiency can cause muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, listlessness, mood change, nausea, and vomiting. Potassium may also help lower blood pressure in people who consume high amounts of sodium.
ConsumerLab.com purchased the supplements from stores, catalogues, and online retailers. The supplements were tested for the amount of potassium, potential lead contamination, and the ability of tablets to break apart in order to release ingredients. The significant lack of ingredient in one product was confirmed in a second independent laboratory.
"Our findings should be a reminder to consumers that even straightforward supplements like potassium don't always deliver what they promise," said Tod Cooperman, MD, ConsumerLab.com's president. "The supplement brand you choose may affect your well-being, particularly if you rely on it to prevent or treat potassium deficiency."