Beneficial or Detrimental Effects on Hemodynamics Depends on Dose of Dietary Potassium in Rapp Dahl Salt-Sensitive (DS) Rats.
Dietary K supplementation was reported to lower blood pressure and prevent strokes in humans and to prevent strokes in hypertensive DS rats. We report a biphasic effect as a function of KCl dose in DS rats that were fed 1% NaCl with increasing dietary KCl, namely, 0.7, 2.6, 4, and 8%. After 8 months on 1% NaCl supplemented with 0.7% KCl, mean arterial pressure (MAP), plasma volume (PV), cardiac output (CO), total peripheral, renal and cerebral vascular resistances (TPR, RVR, CVR) increased compared to salt-resistant DR rats; on 2.6% KCl all these parameters decreased compared with DS on 0.7% KCl diet. When KCl was increased to 4 and 8%, MAP, PV, CO and RVR progressively increased in DS and DR rats, without changing TPR; these changes were accompanied by parallel increases in plasma aldosterone. Only DS rats on the ”optimal“ 2.6% KCl supplement maintained hemodynamics most similar to control DR rats and thus prevented Na retention, hypertension, increases in RVR and CVR. These beneficial hemodynamic effects may explain stroke prevention.