A Filipino first in pharma industry
The banana is undoubtedly the best known source of potassium but for all its vaunted richness in the trace mineral, a person may have to eat a whole hand of the fruit to get the recommended or reference daily intake (RDI) of the vital micronutrient.
In fact, Elizabeth Lietz, president of Paracelsus Life Sciences Corp., said 100 grams of banana only provided 10 percent of the RDI for potassium, represented by the chemical symbol K from Neo-Latin kalium.
Beans and lentils have been found to contain more potassium than the fruit.
People age 10-70 years need about 2,000 milligrams or two grams RDI of the trace mineral, which may alleviate high blood pressure and salt sensitivity. It may also help prevent osteoporosis (brittle bones) and kidney stones. Insufficient supply causes fatigue, irritability and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Although natural sources are often unable to provide a person’s potassium RDI, people rely on them because a supplement for the micronutrient is not readily available in the market or what is being sold provides very little supplementation—until now, that is.
Neutra K, the flagship product of Paracelsus Life Sciences Corp., claims to be the first over-the-counter local potassium food supplement. Lietz said Neutra K was the first of its kind. “There’s an existing imported food supplement here in the Philippines but it’s only 99mg,” she said.Paracelsus said Neutra K was a “pioneering potassium food supplement in the country that is made by Filipinos, for Filipinos”.
It comes in 300mg film-coated tablets and may be taken twice a day—during breakfast and dinner.
The importance of potassium for the body’s health and proper functioning appears to have assumed greater importance only recently.
Lietz said this could be because, until a few years ago, only a few people suffered from potassium deficiency. While doctors still do not know the reason why there has been an increase in cases of potassium deficiency, the pharmaceutical industry has responded by releasing to the market therapeutic or low-dose supplements or higher dosages for treatment that require a doctor’s prescription.
Neutra K is between these products—higher dosage but without needing a prescription. Lietz pointed out that the importance of potassium was underestimated.
“Out of all the electrolytes, potassium is the one we need in large amounts. [Its] special property allows it to conduct electricity, which is important for many processes throughout the body.
A potassium-rich diet is linked to many powerful health benefits,” she said.
Other sources of potassium are: beet greens, cooked; yams, baked; white beans, cooked; clams, cooked; white potatoes, baked; sweet potatoes, baked; avocado; pinto beans, cooked; and bananas. —CONTRIBUTED
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