Potassium and sodium - why should we care ?
While we at Lura Health have consistently pitched our product as a salivary pH tracker, what if we could add on some new analyses? We're still working with these ideas but tracking salivary potassium and sodium levels could help a large segment of our population in dealing with conditions such as hypolakemia and even high blood pressure. Confused as to the first ? Read on for some new knowledge...
Hypolakemia is simply the condition where one produces very low levels of potassium. While this could be dangerous , it is typically treated through potassium supplements. However, what if we could track your body's potassium levels through your saliva ? It would be a quicker, more efficient method to show you realtime data for a vital chemical element! Who wouldn't want that? Also, while we can have too little potassium, we can also have too much (hyperlakemia) - which can still lead to heart palpitations and rhythm disturbances. And just to add to this whole new potassium beat - did you know most Americans get around half the potassium they need with their diets ? In fact there are times when we're even getting more sodium and less potassium than we actually need. This last fact is linked to high blood pressure, which now affects one in three American adults.
Sodium can in fact increase our blood pressure and we should really be consuming less than 2,300 mg per day. However, the majority of us (around 90%!) consume, on average, around 3,400mg per day! Eating large amounts of processed foods can spike our sodium levels but natural sources can also impact our internal levels as well. It's a delicate mix at times but our diet plays a major role in our sodium intake. From the CDC:
"Sodium information currently is not always readily available for restaurant or prepared foods and can be hard for the consumer to estimate"
High amounts of sodium can also lead to osteoporosis and kidney diseases, amongst other conditions. However, the key lies in how best to track and control sodium levels to avoid or mitigate such conditions as high blood pressure. While a lot of people may have developed their own "low sodium" diets, it's still important to educate ourselves on our current levels and how we can control them. If we could pinpoint "sodium spikes" via our saliva, we could figure out which foods may cause us the most harm and how best to avoid them. In many cases, this could lifesaving as around 400,000 yearly deaths are related to high blood pressure. While it's definitely not a catch-all, tracking our sodium levels would definitely help in combatting these types of conditions and lead to a healthier lifestyle overall.
Check out these links below for more information:
More CDC info:
Importance of Potassium: