The recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have shocked the world. I am even more concerned with the publication of data that the United States had a 25% increase in suicides between 1999 and 2016. The director of the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Anne Schuchat stated the following,”These findings are disturbing. Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death in the US right now, and it’s one of three causes that is actually increasing recently, so we do consider it a public health problem — and something that is all around us,”
I would like to propose a potential causative factor to this dreadful increase which is potassium deficiency in our diets. In my last post, I shared the fact that “only 3% of Americans get the daily need of 4,700 milligrams of potassium.” Our brains run on what is known as a sodium-potassium pump. Low potassium is a common finding in patients with depression along with magnesium. Realizing that 97% of Americans are chronically potassium deficient, the increased suicide rates should not come as a shock.
Back in 1986 while dealing with my own severe depression, my mentor John, sent me a case of electrolytes he had developed and told me that it would help. Within a few days, my depression lifted, never to return to this day. Over the years I saw case after case of people with depression getting major relief by increasing their potassium intake. I want to be clear that depression is pretty complex and that potassium deficiency alone may not be the reason but it is an underutilized treatment.
The best way to increase potassium is of course through your diet. While most people believe bananas are the best source, they aren’t. Click here to see a list of 15 foods high in the essential mineral. Another source is coconut water which usually has between 450 to 550 milligrams per eight ounce serving.
In my next post I’ll go over more on potassium deficiency, suicide and depression.