COVID-19 and Potassium Levels

There was an interesting correlation observed by doctors in China between serum (blood) potassium levels and the Coronavirus in patients with moderate to severe symptoms. In a not yet peer reviewed study, Chinese doctors observed in a small group of Coronavirus patients (175) that 39% had low serum potassium levels, and 22% had severely low potassium levels.  These low potassium levels were not attributed to the virus, but were preexisting and caused by other factors, such as hypertension. Also of note, there was no association between low serum potassium levels and the common upper respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 such as cough and runny nose.  So, those with mild symptoms likely don’t have low serum potassium levels.  Interestingly, the doctors also found that supplementing with 3 grams of potassium per day reversed the low potassium levels, and played a positive role in supporting the recovery of these patients.It is important to note that this study focused on only a small group, and has not yet been peer reviewed.

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