Contribution of dairy products to dietary potassium intake in the United States population.J Am Coll Nutr 2008; 27(1):44-50JA
Adequate dietary potassium intake is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 identifies milk and milk products as a major contributor of dietary potassium and lists dairy products, along with fruits and vegetables, as food groups to encourage. This paper further examines the impact of dairy consumption on the potassium intake of the United States (US) population.
Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2002 we determined potassium intakes for various age groups of individuals who met the recommended number of dairy servings compared to those who did not. We also examined the impact of dairy servings consumed on mean and median potassium intakes and compared intakes to the age-appropriate Adequate Intakes (AI).
For all age groups, mean and median potassium intakes did not meet the respective AI. Mean potassium intakes were significantly greater in those subjects who met dairy intake recommendations compared to those who did not for all age groups. Mean and median potassium intakes increased with increasing dairy intake but were below current intake recommendations for all age groups analyzed. For adults age 19 to 50, 16.1% consumed the recommended number of dairy servings per day. For those 51 and older, 10.7% met current dairy intake recommendations.
Consumption of dairy products is below current recommendations which contributes in part to suboptimal dietary potassium intakes among a large proportion of the US population. Since adequate potassium intake is associated with decreased risk of chronic disease, consumption of a variety of potassium-rich foods, including fruits, vegetables and low-fat and fat free dairy products, should continue to be encouraged.