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tive, the richest sources of potassium are leafy green vegetables, fruit from vines, and root vegetables.

Salt substitutes currently available in the marketplace range from 440 mg to 2,800 mg (11 to 72 mmol)/tsp of potassium, all as potassium chloride (Pennington, 1998; Riccardella and Dwyer, 1985). In the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), less than 10 percent of respondents reported that they used a reduced-sodium salt or a salt substitute (Loria et al., 2001). The maximum amount of potassium in over-the-counter supplements is 0.099 g (2.5 mmol) (Medical Economics, 2001).

Table 5-11 provides an estimate of the potassium intake from foods when consuming approximately 2,200 kcal/day, the combined average energy intake of young men and women (IOM, 2002), while meeting recommended intakes for other nutrients. This table illustrates that potassium intake at levels in the range of the AI (4.7 g/day or 120 mmol/day) can be achieved by consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.


Based on intake data from the NHANES III (Appendix Table D-5), the median intake of potassium in the United States ranged from 2.8 to 3.3 g (72 to 84 mmol)/day for men and 2.2 to 2.4 g (56 to 61 mmol)/day for women. The median potassium intakes of white respondents exceeded that of African-American respondents. The median intakes of potassium by adults obtained from Canadian surveys conducted between 1990 and 1999 in 10 provinces ranged from 3.2 to 3.4 g (82 to 87 mmol)/day for men and 2.4 to 2.6 g (62 to 67 mmol)/day for women (Appendix Table F-2), indicating that on average, Canadian intake of potassium was somewhat greater than that of adults in the United States. The percentage of men and women who consumed equal to or greater than the AI was less than 10 and 1 percent, respectively, in the United States.

These dietary intake surveys do not include estimates of the usage of salt substitutes. Less than 10 percent of those surveyed in NHANES III reported using salt substitutes or a reduced-sodium salt (Loria et al., 2001). No other data were found that estimate the intake of potassium from various salt substitutes on the market.

While there are very few data regarding potassium intake during pregnancy, the Calcium for Prevention of Preeclampsia trial (CPEP) estimated intake using dietary recalls in 4,589 participants at recruitment, during weeks 13 to 20 of gestation (Morris CD et al., 2001). Daily potassium intake of the 3,125 women who remained

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