by Charles Weber, MS

CONTENTS of other chapters: Back to INTRODUCTION chapter -- II. Arthritis Research -- III. Arthritis and Potassium -- IV. Roles of Potassium in the Body -- V. Electrolyte regulation (sodium and potassium) -- VI. Purpose of cortisol -- VII. Copper nutrition and physiology -- VIII. Nutritional Requirements -- IX. Potassium in Foods -- X,cont. Losses in the kitchen -- XI. Supplementation -- Side Effects and Heart Disease -- XIV Potassium and thiamin in heart disease -- Strategies for CFS and fibromyalgia

POTASSIUM NUTRITION (a book by Charles Weber) Potassium losses from perspiration, in urine, during diarrhea, from stress, poisons, and disease states are discussed in the book available here, as well as methods to supplement potassium safely, especially as involved in heart disease, gout, high blood pressure, and rheumatoid arthritis, and indirectly in diabetes. It is published by iUniverse publishing company and it is a very comprehensive book about potassium, probably much more so than any other. You may see the table of contents with chapter summaries and the introductory chapter by clicking here.

At least one of the industrial processes is possible in the kitchen for losing potassium, and is a characteristic way of cooking vegetables in America. Whichever vegetables are boiled suffer losses equivalent to processing losses if fresh, or often can suffer further losses if they have already been processed. Unless salt is present in the boil water or canning liquids, there is a limit to how much potassium can be lost. This is probably because large negatively charged molecules can not diffuse out of the heat damaged cell wall, and the charges inside the cell must remain balanced. This limit appears to be over 50% for most vegetables. The losses tend to be greater with larger amounts of water and longer boiling times, but apparently not always. The losses are unnecessary. There are numerous ways of cooking vegetables so that there are no losses at all, and several where the losses are small. It is important to know how to cook food properly because some foods can not be eaten at all raw and many foods cause poor growth rates when eaten raw, such as legumes, probably because interfering materials in some vegetables are destroyed by the cooking. Baked or broiled vegetables retain everything except a fairly large loss of vitamin C and lesser losses of some of the B vitamins [Pearson][Krehl]. Usually only potatoes and stuffed peppers are baked, but in theory all foods could be baked or microwaved. One way to cook food in a microwave which would lose so much moisture if baked so that they would not taste good, would be to place them in a casserole or closed pot along with a small amount of water. Meat which is broiled sometimes actually increases in potassium content if fats are rendered out of them. Pumpkins and squash can be baked right in the shell if they are punctured to avoid exploding. It is easy to make pudding after baking them. If a young pumpkin or squash is used it is possible to eat it seeds and all. I have no analysis of the seeds.

In order to gain the greater speed that using the top of the stove implies you could fry the vegetables. This is already often done with onions, potatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, peppers, squash, and tomatoes. Many vegetables which are difficult to fry can be fried by placing them in the pan with vegetables which are easy to fry. Oil is often used to prevent sticking to the pan. A small amount of oil for frying is much preferable to boiling and discarding the boil water. It is even conceivable that a small amount of unhydrogenated vegetable oil may be a nutritional plus if it is high in omega 3 oil. If a Teflon coated pan is used with careful control of heat, no oil at all needs to be used.

Actually it is not the boiling itself which is bad, but the subsequent discard of the water, If the cook were to retain the water as when making soup or for use when boiling future vegetables the situation is solved, for if they are not allowed to boil dry, there are no losses at all. The boil water can also be used as a beverage. It is especially tasty when derived from mixed vegetables (to my taste buds). This would be a way of augmenting your potassium intake if your family would be willing to grant you more than your fair share of the liquid when pulling out of a deficiency.

If small amounts of water are used in closed pots, known as steaming, the losses should be minimized. I have no analysis available for this procedure, but my knowledge of the physical chemistry involved makes me suspect that the losses are small. If the liquid at the bottom of the pot is used, there are no losses at all. Pressure cooking is a form of steam cooking. It is much faster and less likely to run dry. I do not have information of its affect on heat sensitive vitamins.

Microwaving should lose no potassium but I have no analysis.

Gravies and drippings consisting of watery material are usually rich in potassium. You should always make an effort to sop up, spoon up, or drink up the watery liquids on the bottom of your plate or in the pan while attempting to leave the fats behind. If it is impossible to separate them, it is often possible to skim the solid off the top after a sojourn in the refrigerator. Decanting fat off of a tall glass is another possibility.


Another loss, although not strictly a processing loss, is the tendency to leave food on the plate when not very hungry. The foods which are most likely to be left by most people are precisely those foods which are highest in potassium, the vegetables [Young][Adelson]. One way to avoid this type of loss would be to eat the most nourishing food first. So far as cooking is concerned, the cook should make a considerable effort to make the vegetables appetizing. Like Popeye the sailor, concentrate on the vegetables. There are numerous combinations with milk, meat, spices, fruits, and other popular foods which can make vegetables anywhere from palatable to irresistible. Just combining several miscellaneous vegetables can be a considerable improvement in taste.

The following table lists some food combinations which I have found to be better tasting than either alone, or at least better than the first on the list. Some of those on the left side of the list are almost intolerable alone. (Text continued and references below the table)

Food Combinations

bean seeds-----------------tomato
beans, green--------------milk
beans, lima-----------------corn
beets-------------------------milk and/or vinegar
bran---------------------------raisins and milk
cabbage---------------------buttermilk or yogurt
carrots, raw-----------------raisins
carrots, cooked------------peas
celery-------------------------lettuce and apple
chives------------------------cottage cheese
cress, water-----------------other salads
cucumbers------------------vinegar or sour cream
milk---------------------------carob powder or chocolate
oatmeal----------------------apples, bananas
liver--------------------------onions, fried
peppers, sweet-------------meat
pumpkin, mashed---------eggs, milk, and cinnamon
spinach, raw----------------other salads
spinach, cooked------------milk
wheat germ------------------meat loaf or cereal


If every one had an average intake of potassium equal to his fair share of the as grown potassium, they would receive about 3,500 milligrams per day [Economic Research Service]. After processing losses and uneaten food is subtracted from the total [Adelson], my best guess is that the average daily intake is about 2,000 milligrams per day. Keep in mind that half the people are eating less than the average. Old people have an intake less than the average [Dall & Gardner] [Dall, et al]. Black people in Georgia average 1,500 milligrams per day, while their white neighbors average 2,000 milligrams [Grim]. I say the above is an unacceptably high loss. Anyone taking a pay cut like that would be very, very unhappy.

You hardly have to wait for the best estimate of an ideal intake. The human race has been living with virtually these same foods for millions of years. We must be adapted to the concentrations in food as grown by this time. So the as grown amount should be a minimum to aim for, and I therefore propose it as a recommended daily requirement or RDR or RDA, that is required for optimum health as opposed to minimum daily requirement or MDR, a requirement for bare survival by young healthy adults under no stress. South American Indians receive about seven thousand milligrams per day.


You should bear in mind that almost all plant products have mildly toxic materials in them. Each plant family is usually different from the others. Therefore, it is important to vary your menu. If you concentrate on one particular plant, you may find yourself in the embarrassing position of the man who turned orange from eating too many tomatoes and carrots, or have a vital food element tied up in the digestive tract as the oxalic acid in spinach and rhubarb is alleged to do to calcium, or much worse to be badly sickened by alkaloids as the poor people in India are sometimes when they eat only a local wild pea during a famine. These toxic substances are only mildly toxic and present in small amounts in cultivated plants so variety should solve the problem satisfactorily for edible plants. You can see which foods belong to which families in order to rotate and maximize the advantage at;

There are no toxic meats in commerce, so that variety in meat is probably not essential to take care of the above circumstance. Liver is an exception. Eating only liver can produce vitamin A and vitamin D toxicity. It is important that seafood or seaweed be eaten from time to time if you discontinue eating iodized salt or receive no iodide in some kind of supplement. Some seafood has fairly high concentrations of cadmium, mercury, arsenic and poisonous ciguatera, so supplements of iodide are safer. Do not take iodate or elemental iodine though. Iodide may be obtained fromAnbex,inc.,530 Morris Ave., Springfield, NJ, USA.,

Most fruits and grains are probably largely devoid of poisons or disadvantageous substances. The custom of many cultures to concentrate on one grain, such as wheat, for instance, is probably not harmful from the circumstance of poison although wheat has a substance which interferes with copper. This lack of poisons is probably the usual case for unstored grain in developed countries. In undeveloped countries, aflatoxins on moldy seeds have been shown to cause liver cancer in animals (“undeveloped countries” is a euphemism for “countries afflicted by tropical disease).

One exception to variety being sufficiently protective may be the solenaceous food of the nightshade family, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants. If they are eaten, be sure to eat only red, ripe, vine ripened tomatoes and baked unsprouted potatoes. It has been demonstrated that baking destroys at least some of the poisons. If green potatoes are eaten raw it is possible to be poisoned badly enough to die.

In summary I suggest that you take Hunter's advice and select your food only from the outside edges of the supermarkets where the unprocessed vegetables, meats and dairy products are displayed [Hunter BT in an address] until such time as the processed food industry gets its act together and stops destroying nutritional value and putting poisons in the food and lose nothing yourself by boiling it.

You can purchase a book called POTASSIUM NUTRITION, In Heart Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gout, Diabetes. It has an extensive discussion about every aspect of potassium nutrition, physiology, and diseases caused by a deficiency or inability to excrete potassium. It is available from iUniverse, 1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403.

REFERENCES are below


The health of people in the USA is abysmal (numerous statistics), and a major part of it is poor nutrition. As the 12th century physician, trying to cure by diet before he administers drugs, said; “No illness that can be treated by diet should be treated by any other means" or as Hippocrates expressed it in 460 - 377BC; "If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health." It would seem that a healthy life style has been known for a long time. It is my belief that an unprocessed, unfrozen, not canned, high in vegetables diet would keep a large majority of people reasonably healthy and without the need for fad diets. 80% of Americans do not eat adequate vegetables, but even though 72% of Americans take vitamin or mineral supplements daily or sometimes [Sardi p148], their health is atrocious, especially old people.

I would suggest that a partial solution to the problem of poor potassium nutrition would be to place a tax on all food that has had potassium removed by food processors and completely fund all Medicare and workman’s compensation for injuries and disease that relate to rheumatoid arthritis, gout, heart disease, and high blood pressure. This would also take the onerous tax burden now incurred for them and place it on the shoulders of those who cause the problem

The author, Charles Weber, has a degree in chemistry and a masters degree in soil science. He has researched potassium for 50 years, primarily a library research. He has cured his own early onset arthritis (33 years old). He has published articles on allied subjects in; The Journal of Theoretical Biology (1970, 1983), The Journal of Applied Nutrition (1974), Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology (1983), and Medical Hypotheses (1984, 1999).

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There is a site that contains reviews of natural remedies for many diseases .

It has been found that borax will cure rheumatoid arthritis. It will also get rid of fluoride in the body.

See this site for some links to health articles.
For a procedure that discusses tetrathiomolybdate for removing copper and thus preventing further solid cancer growth and Hodgkin’s, see this site. This might buy some time until you can persuade a doctor to try tumor necrosis factor or interferon or an opioid antagonist drug called Naltrexone (Naltrexone in the large 50 mg size, originally manufactured by DuPont under the brand name ReVia, is now sold by Mallinckrodt as Depade and by Barr Laboratories under the generic name naltrexone) that blocks some endorphin receptors. Said blockage is thought to cause the body to temporarily secrete more endorphins, especially after midnight at night. These endorphins are thought to stimulate the immune system, and in particular to stimulate the TH-1 or type 1 antiviral response by decreased interleukin-4 and with increased gamma interferon and interleukin-2 and a simultaneous decrease of type 2 anti bacterial response [Sacerdote]. It appears to be especially effective for minimizing symptoms and retarding progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) There are drugs listed in this site that should not be taken with low dose Naltrexone, including cortisol. There is information in this site for mitigating side effects, including starting with one milligram doses. Advice how to proceed if you have been taking cortisol may be seen here. (also see these sites; this site and this site and this site and a trial) . A few doctors have had encouraging results in Crohn's Disease, and even to some extent in cancer. Low doses of Naltrexone (LDN), 1.5 to 4.5 milligrams, at bedtime is used (timing is important, and it is important not to buy slow release forms). It is said to have no known bad side effects at those doses other than insomnia the first week or two in some. There is also reports from an extensive survey in this site. and an extensive discussion at this site. I think some clinical studies on Naltrexone are in order, and it should not be a prescription drug (I have a petition to make Naltrexone an over the counter drug with the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research FDA Rockville MD 20857, Re; Docket No. 2006P-0508-CPI. Perhaps if enough people wrote supporting the petition it could be enacted). Though side effects appear unlikely, it is not proven over longer periods. If you try it (it is a prescription medicine in the USA), it seems likely that you should discontinue if you get a bacterial infection in view of its inhibition of antibacterial response. There are suggestions on how to obtain Naltrexone without a prescription in this site. Naltrexone is currently being used by Dr. Enlander, a New York City doctor, but with limited success using 3 to 4.5 milligram doses for CFS or CFIDS. Cris Kerr of Case Health, Australia produced this free ebook “Those Who Suffer Much, Know Much”. It contains 51 patient testimonies of health success using low dose naltrexone (LDN) as a treatment option (30 for multiple sclerosis). Supporting information is included; interviews and perspectives from 19 health professionals, an explanatory article, and comprehensive scientific and advocate reference lists.

Olive leaf extract has shown clinical evidence of effectiveness against a wide range of viruses, including AIDS [Bihari], herpes, and cold viruses. It sometimes produces a Herxheimer or pathogen die off symptoms (from effectiveness against bacteria?). There is evidence that it is synergistic (reinforce each other) with Naltrexone. There have been a few case histories of improvement in what were probably arthritis patients and CFIDS patients. The active ingredient is said to be oleuropein or enolate. There has been very little follow up research done on it. Olive leaf extract has shown clinical evidence of effectiveness against a wide range of viruses, including AIDS [Bihari], herpes, and cold viruses. It sometimes produces a Herxheimer or pathogen die off symptoms (from effectiveness against bacteria?). There is evidence that it is synergistic (reinforce each other) with Naltrexone. There have been a few case histories of improvement in what were probably arthritis patients and CFIDS patients. The active ingredient is said to be oleuropein or enolate. There has been very little follow up research done on it.

. Also it has been found that curcumin in turmeric or curry powder will inhibit several forms of cancer, including melanoma. People who live in India where these spices are eaten, have one tenth the cancer elsewhere. Here is an article with anecdotal evidence for pressurized oxygen, zinc, vitamin B6, and vitamin C after head injuries. They also claim a fair percentage of prison inmates from psychiatric disorders after head injuries.
See this site for evidence of a correlation between magnesium deficiency and cancer. The taurate is proposed as the best magnesium supplement. Taurine or 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid is an acidic chemical substance sulfonated rather than carboxylated found in high abundance in the tissues of many animals (metazoa), especially sea animals. Taurine is also found in plants, fungi, and some bacterial species, but in far less abundance. It is an amine with a sulfonic acid functional group, but it is not an amino acid in the biological sense, not being one of the twenty protein-forming compounds encoded by the universal genetic code. Small polypeptides have been identified as containing taurine, but to date there has been no report of a transfer RNA that is specifically charged with taurine [from Wikipedia]. It is essential to babies. It has been found that supplements of the amino acid, taurine, will restore the abnormal electrocardiogram present during a potassium deficiency by an unknown mechanism. This information has been used in several case histories by George Eby to control a long standing type of cardiac arrhythmia called pre atrial contractions (PACs), a benign but irritating and nerve racking heart problem, with 2.5 grams of taurine with each meal. . Taurine is said to be low in the diets of vegetarians. The 2.5 grams recommended by the American Heart Association causes diarrhea in some people and should probably be reduced in those people. Taurine has been used for high blood pressure, migraine headache, high cholesterol, epilepsy, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, liver disorders, alcoholism, and cystic fibrosis, and depression. Keep in mind that some people may have a genetic defect that limits the amount of taurine tolerated and that adequate molybdenum may desirable. Also taurine may make a copper deficiency worse based on a single case history, so adequate copper may be necessary [Brien Quirk, private communication].

A site is available which shows. foods which are high in one nutrient and low in another (including calories). This last site should be especially useful for a quick list of foods to consider first, or for those who must restrict another nutrient because of a genetic difficulty with absorption or utilization

There is a site with several links to potassium nutrition articles and another site that has many links to nutrition sites around the world.

If you use medication, you may see technical evaluations and cautions of drugs at the bottom of this site.

The very extensive USDA Handbook #8 may be seen here. To access the information you must press "enter" to search, and then divide Kcal into milligrams of potassium. This last table is very comprehensive, is used in search mode, and even lists the amino acids. There are also links in it to PDF types of printouts from the table for individual nutrients available here Just click on the “A” or “W” button for the nutrient you desire. There is a free browser called Firefox, which is said to be less susceptible to viruses or crashes, has many interesting features, imports information from Iexplore while leaving Iexplore intact. You can also install their emailer. A feature that lists all the URLs on a viewed site can be useful when working on your own site.

If you have Iexplore, there is a tool bar by Google that enables you to search the internet from the page viewed, mark desired words, search the site, give page rank, etc.

There is a free program available which tells on your site what web site accessed you, which search engine, statistics about which country, statistics of search engine access, keywords used and their frequency. It can be very useful.

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Author email; isoptera at , Author telephone: 1 828 692 5816


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