Too little potassium in your diet, less IGF-1 in your muscles

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    Too little potassium in your diet, less IGF-1 in your muscles

    Too little potassium in your diet, less IGF-1 in your muscles

    In animal studies, an insufficient intake of potassium sabotages the biosynthesis of testosterone, we wrote a few days earlier. But that may not be the only harmful hormonal effect of a dietery pattern with insufficient potassium. According to an animal study by researchers at Stanford University in the 1990s, inadequate intake of potassium can also significantly reduce the effect of IGF-1 on muscles.

    For 8 days, the researchers gave a group of young male Sprague-Dawley rats feedd containing 1 percent potassium [High Potassium]. Another group of rats received chow with only 0.01 percent potassium [Low Potassium].

    Half of both groups received injections of IGF-1.

    On day 8 of the experiment, the rats that were fed low potassium had less potassium in their blood than the animals that consumed a lot of potassium, which makes perfect sense. Perhaps less obvious is that the test animals with little potassium in their diet grew less rapidly than the animals that received potassium-rich food.

    Low-potassium feed reduced the increase in muscle mass increase, but caused a substantial increase in kidney weight. Kidney hypertrophy is of course not healthy.

    Below you will see how low potassium intake could help the kidneys grow and at the same time reduce muscle growth. The potassium deficiency caused an increase in IGF-1 concentration in the kidneys, but reduced IGF-1 concentration in the muscles. However, potassium deficiency had little effect on the IGF-1 concentration in the blood.

    A low potassium intake reduced the production of IGF-1 by the muscles, and the production of the growth hormone receptor. The researchers do not understand how low potassium intake increases the concentration of IGF-1 in the kidneys.

    Source: Kidney Int. 1997;52(2):363-70.
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