Dr. Reto Krapf of the University of Basel in Switzerland says that diets heavy in proteins from meat and grains increase acid in the body, and that acid leaches calcium from the bones. Potassium citrate (also called K-citrate but not to be confused with vitamin K) is believed to neutralize that acid in the body. Dr. Krapf and a team of researchers conducted a study wherein 201 men and women over the age of 65 were given calcium and Vitamin D daily. In addition, half received a placebo and half received 60 mEq of potassium citrate. Their results were published in Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Urine tests showed that the patients taking potassium citrate had complete neutralization of certain acids in their bodies. After two years, the bone density of the group receiving potassium increased about 2% more than the placebo group. Bone mineral density increased in the spine, legs, and arms. Among people age 65+, this change in bone density means a significantly lower risk of fracture.
Improved potassium consumption has also been connected with a lower risk for high blood pressure, lower risk of stroke, and lower risk for kidney stones. Adults should consume 4,700 mg of potassium daily. Multivitamins purchased at a store often contain no more than 99mg of potassium, so if you suspect a need to supplement your potassium intake further, consult with your doctor. Many fruits and vegetables contain potassium, and it is richly available in bananas, potatoes, plums, and raisins.