Potassium – Helpful for Heartburn Relief
Heartburn is said to affect nearly 44 percent of all Americans – a whopping 61 million of us! Heartburn occurs when the ring of muscles between your stomach and your esophagus is weakened or overwhelmed, opens at the wrong time, and allows stomach acid to return to the esophagus. It should better be called “stomach burn” since the stomach, not the heart, is involved.
Since heartburn affects so many people, drug manufacturers advertise a number of prescription and non-prescription drugs for heartburn relief. Those who prefer more natural remedies for heartburn say that potassium is helpful for heartburn relief.
Potassium is a very important mineral in the body, involved in both cellular and electrical functions. Potassium is one of the three main minerals in blood – an electrolyte. This means potassium can carry a very small electrical charge.
Potassium is critical to efficient disposal of bodily waste, and helps control the transfer of nutrients to the cells. Potassium, calcium, and magnesium work together to regulate the acid-alkaline balance in our bodies.
It is this regulation of the acid-alkaline balance that is believed to give potassium a potential for heartburn relief. Since heartburn involves acids being returned to the esophagus, many believe heartburn relief is achieved with proper acid-alkaline balance.
How Is Potassium Helpful for Heartburn Relief?
Strangely, some who are unwilling to rate potassium helpful for heartburn relief are willing to give that rating to bananas – or even baked potatoes. Bananas and baked potatoes are foods rich in potassium, and are known to work as an antacid in the body.
It would follow naturally that potassium works as a heartburn relief in the body. By neutralizing acid, potassium keeps it from flowing backward into the esophagus. Potassium also uses its power as an electrolyte to strengthen the muscle that controls the door between stomach and esophagus.
Potassium is part of a compound used in baking powder: potassium bicarbonate. The same compound is used as an antacid medicine.
For example, “Alka-Seltzer Effervescent Antacid”, a common over-the-counter medication for heartburn relief, lists its main ingredients as:
* Sodium Bicarbonate
* Citric Acid
* Potassium Bicarbonate
CAUTION: Excess potassium can be harmful to your body. Consult with a physician as to how much potassium is right for you, and the best method of taking potassium for heartburn relief.