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Low Potassium Levels Might Put African-Americans at Type 2 Diabetes Risk

According to a study conducted by the researchers at the Johns Hopkins, low potassium levels might be responsible why the African-American people are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than white people. If these findings are confirmed then prevention of diabetes can become as simple as taking potassium supplements. The researchers feel that lower serum potassium might a potential diabetes risk factor. African-Americans, on an average, have low levels of potassium than Whites. Further studies need to be carried out to see if increasing the level of potassium can prove successful in preventing the most common type of diabetes.

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Hsin-Chieh “Jessica” Yeh, Ph.D, Johns Hopkins, and her team, analyzed the data from about 12,000 participants. More than 2,000 African-Americans had lower potassium levels than about 9,000 whites. It was observed that the chances of diabetes went up as the potassium level went down. Serum potassium seems to be a new risk factor of diabetes.

Previous studies have proved that African-Americans include less potassium in their diet than their white counterparts. 4,700 mg/day potassium is recommended, which can come from melons, bananas, yogurt or lentils. Yeh feels that if manipulating the potassium levels can reduce diabetes risk then this would be practical and cost-effective way to prevent the condition.

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