Potassium- and magnesium-enriched salt improves functionality after stroke
Enriching salt with both potassium and magnesium in the long term may provide additional benefits for stroke patient recovery from neurologic deficits, suggests a recent study involving Taiwanese patients.
A total of 291 discharged stroke patients with modified Rankin scale (mRS) ≤4 were randomly assigned to one of three arms: 1) regular salt (Na salt; n=99), 2) potassium-enriched salt (K salt; n=97), and 3) potassium- and magnesium-enriched salt (K/Mg salt; n=95).
The investigators evaluated the NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS), Barthel Index (BI) and mRS at discharge, at 3 months and at 6 months. A good neurologic performance was defined by NIHSS=0, BI=100 and mRS ≤1.
More patients in the K/Mg salt group achieved good neurologic performance than in the K salt group and the Na salt group, in that order, after the 6-month intervention. The K/Mg salt group had a significantly increased odds ratio (OR; 2.22; 95 percent CI, 1.09 to 4.67) of achieving good neurologic performance compared with the Na salt group. However, the effect of K salt alone (OR, 1.58; 0.77 to 3.22) was not significant.
“Stroke is one of the leading causes of mortality and neurologic deficits. Management measures to improve neurologic outcomes are in great need,” the investigators said. “Our previous intervention trial in elderly [individuals] successfully used salt as a carrier for potassium, demonstrating a 41-percent reduction in cardiovascular mortality by switching to potassium-enriched salt.”
“Dietary magnesium has been associated with lowered diabetes and/or stroke risk in humans and with neuroprotection in animals,” they added.