08 July, 2011
What Are the Benefits of Magnesium, Potassium & Bromelain?
Some supplement manufacturers offer a product that combines bromelain, magnesium and potassium. The manufacturers claim that the combination can help with relaxation, circulation, cardiovascular health, calcium absorption and muscle and nerve function. While there isn't necessarily evidence to support these claims, all three substances are bioactive and do affect your health.
Pineapples, which traditional healers in Central and South America have been using for centuries to treat indigestion and inflammation, contain protein-digesting, or proteolytic, enzymes collectively called bromelain. Although research into bromelain's medicinal qualities is in its infancy, and up to this point the evidence has often been contradictory, bromelain may reduce swelling, pain, bruising and recovery time following an injury or surgery, help remove dead tissue after second- and third-degree burns, reduce inflammation associated with insect bites and stings, treat sinusitis and hay fever symptoms, relieve osteoarthritis pain when taken with rutosid and trypsin, and relieve stomach upset or heartburn, especially when used in conjunction with enzymes that metabolize starches and fats, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The bromelain found in pineapples is not concentrated enough for medical use. Dosage depends on the condition that is being treated. Bromelain can interact with antibiotics, blood-thinners and sedatives.
Magnesium plays vital roles in muscle, nerve and immune function. It promotes a healthy heart rhythm, helps keep bones strong, aids in regulating blood sugar, promotes normal blood pressure, and is involved in protein synthesis. Although clinical magnesium deficiency is unusual in the United States, U.S. dietary intake of magnesium may not be high enough to maintain optimum blood magnesium levels, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Healthy blood magnesium levels may help prevent cardiovascular disease and immune dysfunction. The daily recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, of magnesium is 80 mg for children ages 1 to 3, 130 mg for children ages 4 to 8, 240 mg for children ages 9 to 13, 360 mg for females ages 14 to 18, 410 mg for males ages 14 to 18, 310 mg for females ages 19 to 30, 400 mg for males ages 19 to 30, 320 mg for females over age 30 and 420 mg for males over age 30. Rich dietary sources of magnesium include halibut, nuts, beans and spinach.
Potassium is an electrolytic mineral, or a mineral that helps conduct electricity through the body, and is essential to healthy heart function and skeletal and smooth muscle contraction. There is some evidence that a diet rich in potassium promotes bone health, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Low blood potassium levels may also be linked to high blood pressure, but evidence as to whether potassium supplementation can help lower blood pressure is contradictory. High dietary potassium consumption is associated with a lower stroke risk, but potassium supplements do not seem to have the same effect. The Institute of Medicine recommends adults consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day. Bananas, citrus juices, avocados, cantaloupes, tomatoes, potatoes, lima beans, flounder, salmon, cod and chicken all contain significant amounts of potassium.
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