This is a mini dissertation I initially planned to supposedly deliver to my recent daily NOVAVAX Vaccination written updates. However soon upon writing it ~ compelled me and ended-up writing a fuller-length article on its own. For concise readership, some writing amends may be warranted, in near future. Thank you. Live-it-forward, AW.
A word on Potassium, Oxalates, COVID.
Recalling from the parent manuscript (in case if anyone have not read anything so far) ~ I initially and gently proposed yet not egoistically prescribe consideration to raise potassium intake; within my COVID sub chapter / mini-dissertation in my Book. The rationale for this have been mostly tied to observational findings that lowered potassium status may have been a valid contributor to overall COVID mortality (Thomas, L. 2020) / (Fizgerald, D. 2020) / (Chen D et al. 2020).
Besides ~ Potassium ~ is what I consider at least under my own years case of practice of cyclical low carbohydrate and intermittent fasting ~ highly essential to assist with the general symptoms people oft-associate as “flu” like malaise; especially during low carbohydrate adjustment phases.
But, and this shall warrants yet another “it depends” additional food for thoughts ~ should readers rely entirely on food as their only source of potassium, particularly amongst plant sources ~ it might be wise to instigate other surrogate concerns that accompany these foods. To name a few, oxalates in “healthy” staples eg. spinach (very high in oxalate) as well as obviously lectins, and anti-nutrients in beans and legumes as often-praised sources of potassium.
Oxalate sensitivity ~ potential problem?
The above are all legitimate concerns, which people do not, unfortunately, pay enough attention to how they are feeling upon excluding and then reincluding these foods. We may overtime, ignore other things that could have warranted further discussion. Such as other surrogate markers that contribute excess oxalate formation, particularly Vitamin C – have been at least raised in several case COVID19 risk (Fontana, F. et al. 2020) before then obviously ~ contributing to risk of kidney stones (Marques S et al. 2017).
I, for instance may only share my own N=1 insight, from years of exclusions and reinclusions surrounding any suspecting foods, and macronutrient biases and calorie cycling. Thus, I can ably instigate what happens whenever I exclude and then reinclude.
Excess potatoes during refeeds and/or high intake of avocadoes during LCIF days ~ remain increasingly suspect to my lower backpains. Sadly, so too other suspects including my favourite past-times “health” foods. Cacao powder and peanut butters.
What about (sodium) salt intake? The case for succinct potassium supplementation.
Our current public health mandating on salt intake, seems disproportionate towards one-size-fits all nihilistic demonisation. “Sodium is bad period” and “potassium is good period”.
Unfortunately it is not simple as condemning one over another as mortality rates remains arguable from both spectrums (Peat, R. 2006/2016) / (Mente, et al. 2016) / (Satin, M. 2012). Interestingly, a recent find suggested hyponatremia (salt loss), next to hyperglycemia and hypomagnesia ~ all appear to be “feasible” risk factors amidst COVID19 admissions (Sarvazad H et al. 2020). Of course there are other supporting minerals beside Potassium for all crucial bodily functions. Magnesium for instance, which one may argue as the more important ~ is often praised as “potassium-sparing”, that is; raising one appears to theoretically help maintain the other (Solomon R 1987).
Given the above multi-layered complexity inbetween various minerals and foods sensivities ~ this warrants, only in my humble opinion and only under my N=1 sake (thus far) ~ that succinct supplementation, not excessive ~ nevertheless assist in eliminating all competitive surrogate doubts. Potassium chloride, carbonate, gluconate, citrate and/or Cream of Tartar (widely available in supermarkets as a raising agent) remains plausible implementation choices.
Of course, I shall stress, that it is never wise to take potassium by “spoonful” amounts as I would dare not and never contemplate in doing so.
And of course all this warrants repeated disclaimer. This discussion does not include other factors ~ eg. ACE inhibitor intake which further confound their own highly nuanced readings. We must ensure to never go overboard in any one biased mineral intake. As always, if you wish to raise one mineral intake over another, it is perhaps wise to consider investing a blood panel test, should finances allow. But always ~ stay to your own routinely self-journal any surrogate concerns be it physiological, cognitive and/or metabolic.
Plant based foods are here to stay.
Let me just proclaim I am not and never am entirely against plant based foods. I have had my days of near zero carb carnivorism despite their very expenses. And I still believe slightly rare Liver Pate is undoubtedly a food source so rich in competitive nutrients – that I’d only eat it in isolation away from main meals.
But meanwhile? Plant based foods remain plausible. Pea protein meat loafs, peanut butters, avocadoes, pumpkins ~ all serve ~ convenient sources of not just potassium but for diversity and variety for one’s sanity amidst feeding windows.
But of course the only “pragmatic” consensus here is to enjoy them liberally; in addition to overall protein, sufficient calories and sufficient movements.
Oh, and the #1 killer of them all ~ lingering psychosocial stress of any kind ~ must be closely attended to with heart and conscience.