June 29, 2009
Some nutrients work better in pairs
Most nutrients don't fly solo -- they can interact, join forces or even cancel each other out -- a U.S. health newsletter reports.
Two of the key nutrient pairs the Harvard Health Letter writers mention are:
-- Sodium and potassium. Although sodium is an essential nutrient, most Americans consume far more of it each day than they need, raising their blood pressure and increasing their chances of having a stroke or heart attack.
Potassium counters the harmful cardiovascular effects of a sodium surplus by encouraging the kidneys to excrete sodium. Many studies show a connection between high potassium intake and lower blood pressure and suggest the potassium-to-sodium ratio may be more important than potassium -- or sodium -- alone.