International journal of cardiology

Effect of potassium supplementation on vascular function: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

PMID 27865190


Effects of potassium supplementation on vascular function remain conflicting. This meta-analysis aimed to summarized current literature to fill the gaps in knowledge. A literature search was performed on PubMed database through April, 2016. The measurements of vascular function included pulse wave velocity (PWV), augmentation index (AI), pulse pressure (PP), flow mediated dilatation (FMD), glycerol trinitrate responses (GTN), and intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). Data were pooled as standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals. Seven randomized controlled trials examining 409 participants were included, with dosage of potassium ranging from 40 to 150mmol/day, and duration of intervention from 6days to 12months. Pooling results revealed a significant improvement in PP (SMD -0.280, 95% CI -0.493 to -0.067, p=0.010), but no improvement in PWV (SMD -0.342, 95% CI -1.123 to 0·440, p=0.391), AI (SMD -0.114, 95% CI -0.282 to 0.054, p=0.184), FMD (SMD 0·278, 95% CI -0.321 to 0.877, p=0.363), GTN (SMD -0.009, 95% CI -0.949 to 0.930, p=0.984), and ICAM-1 (SMD -0.238, 95% CI -0.720 to 0.244, p=0.333). Potassium supplementation was associated with significant improvement of PP, rather than other measurements of vascular function. However, the small number of researches and wide variation of evidences make it difficult to make a definitive conclusion.