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June 1, 1970

Potassium Supplementation

Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich

JAMA. 1970;212(9):1526-1527. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170220080025

To the Editor.—  "A normal adult has enough potassium in his body to kill 100 people if it were injected into their blood, yet if he got no potassium in his diet he would soon be paralyzed and die."1While clinicians still remain undecided upon whether potassium supplements as drug products should routinely be administered to patients on potassium depleting durgs (eg, digitalis preparations, diuretics, steroids), there is agreement that by one means or another the patient must maintain an adequate potassium balance.Authorities on the daily recommended requirements for potassium and quantities varying from 30 to 60 mEq per day2 to 45 to 75 mEq per day have been suggested.3 A number of foods and beverages are rich in potassium. While many texts cite these products qualitatively, few references are available with quantitative data. Apricots, bananas, and nectarines all contain more than 300 mg (8.2 mEq)