Potassium Helps to Lower Blood Pressure by Balancing Out the Negative Effects of Salt

The National Academies’ Food and Nutrition Board defines an adequate intake of potassium as 4.7 grams per day. The average American consumes about 3 to 2.5 grams coming primarily from fresh fruits and vegetables,fish and most meats. In fact, most Americans consume too much sodium and not enough potassium leading to higher incidences of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports an ideal Potassium (4700mg) to Sodium (2300mg) Consumption Ratio of 2 to 1. (Presently that ratio is roughly, 2500mg Potassium to 3400mg Sodium or around (0.75 to 1)

So why is potassium and the balance of more potassium to sodium important?

High Blood Pressure
The UK Blood Pressure Association has this explanation in layman’s terms:

“Your kidneys help to control your blood pressure by controlling the amount of fluid stored in your body. The more fluid, the higher your blood pressure. To remove fluids, your kidneys require a delicate balance of sodium and potassium to pull water across a wall of cells from the bloodstream into a collecting chamber leading to the bladder.

Consuming salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and wreaks the delicate balance.” Consuming fruits and vegetables and processed foods with higher ratios of potassium to sodium chloride can
also improve this imbalance.

 Muscle Contraction

Beyond the osmotic balance in the kidneys, an equally important function of a potassium and sodium balance is the control of muscle contractions including the healthy heart and blood vessel contractions. As explained on the LiveStrong site, “potassium and sodium are essential electrolytes with most potassium in your body inside of cells while most of the sodium is outside the cell. The movement of potassium into the cell and sodium out of the cell creates an electrochemical gradient called the membrane potential. Potassium is essential for maintaining the cell’s membrane potential, which enables nerve impulse transmission required of all muscles including the heart and peristaltic movement of the intestines.” Therefore the absence of balance can result in irregular heartbeats and muscle contrictions (Think about potassium the next time you consume a banana after a 5K walk or run to control cramps)

In conclusion, the American Heart Association and others report that hypertension afflicts an estimated one in 3 adults, and reducing sodium to Adequate Intake levels of 2000 to 2300mg daily would reduce cardiovascular events by 30%.

For the culinologist and food technologist,finding a way to improve the potassium/sodium balance is vital as 75% of the sodium consumed by consumers comes from pre-packaged processed and restaurant foods.

One answer is NuTek Salt,which is a revolutionary modified potassium chloride source having none of the negative metallic flavor traditionally associated with crystalline KCL at replacement levels of up to 50% of the NaCl in many processed foods.

Contact us and we will happy to discuss this key ingredient and great source of Potassium with you!!


Lecithin’s functionality in cookie dough’s

Lecithin’s unique molecular structure makes it an effective emulsifier for the interaction of water and oil. Phospholipids, the major component of lecithin are partly hydrophilic (attracted to water) and partly hydrophobic (repelled from water). By combining the lipophilic (attraction to lipids) with the hydrophilic functional group, lecithin is able to lower the interfacial tension between the various ingredients in the cookie dough.

Acting as a release agent to prevent sticking and simplify cleaning is lecithin’s best known quality in the food industry. Lecithin is also added to cookie formulas to improve dough handling and the cookie dough’s overall quality, with significant improvements in machinability as well as dough conditioning and strengthening.

Mixing starts with the creaming stage where sugar and shortening / butter are combined along with lecithin added at between .5% and 3% of the flour weight. The amount depending on whether a de-oiled or liquid lecithin is being used. Other ingredients like eggs and flavorings are also added at this time. The fat and lecithin in combination with the sugar help entrap air into the mix as the fat coats the individual sugar particles. The aeration of the ingredients directly contributes to the structure and grain of the finished product and greatly influences the density of the cookie dough. Lecithin’s added in the creaming stage increases the volume, controls spread and improves the cell structure of the finished cookie.

Lecithin’s other functional properties include reducing the fat and egg requirements in the formula and improved wetting of the hydrophilic powders (low fat, protein) and lipophilic powders (cocoa, alkaline) into the dough. Lecithin also lengthens cookies shelf life by controlling moisture migration and decreasing crumb hardening during the time the product sits on the shelf.

SPI has a number of lecithin solutions to choose from that work in all bakery applications where lecithin is called for. SPI carries the Solae line of soy and sunflower lecithin’s, in liquid and de-oiled forms and in standard and IP forms of both. In some bakery applications where a modified lecithin may work best, SPI has those in both de-oiled and liquid forms as well.



Literature Review: The Role of BetaPower™ natural Betaine in Muscle Performance

Betaine is a natural nutrient that promotes hydration and performance especially related to physical activity. Betaine is an osmolyte, which means it regulates the movement of water in and out of cells. Also known as trimethylglycine or TMG, betaine is found in many healthful foods, such as whole grains, spinach and beets.

This is important to performance nutrition because our muscles and support tissues can function more effectively when properly hydrated. In a study conducted on active, healthy, weight training men matched in body fat composition, Betaine was administered in two daily doses totaling 2.5 grams per day, over 6 weeks. Results showed a significant increase in Lean Body Mass and significant decrease in Fat Mass. There was a significant increase in Arm Cross Sectional Area and a significant improvement in Vertical Jump power.

An additional component of this study was to research TMG’s effects on homocysteine thiolactone (HCTL), a toxic metabolite. HCTL promotes insulin resistance and in the end, reduces muscle synthesis. TMG was shown to significantly reduce levels of HCTL found in urine analysis of test subjects.

Effects of Betaine on Body Composition, Performance, and Homocysteine Thiolactone

Jason M Cholewa, Monika Wyszczelska-Rokiel, Rafal Glowacki, Hieronim Jakubowski, Tracey Matthews, Richard Wood, Stuart AS Craig and Vincent Paolone

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2013, 10:39  doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-39. Published August 2013