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Initially Posted: 11/15/2016 | Last Updated: 11/03/2020
Potassium Iodide and Potassium Iodate Seals of Approval

Alphabetical list of potassium supplement brands compared in this report

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BulkSupplements.com Potassium

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Country Life Magnesium Potassium Aspartate

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CVS/pharmacy Potassium Gluconate 595 mg

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DaVinci Laboratories of Vermont Potassium Aspartate+

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GNC Potassium Plus 99 mg

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Member's Mark [Sam's Club] Potassium

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Natural Factors Potassium Citrate

Nature's Bounty Potassium Gluconate

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Nature's Sunshine Combination Potassium

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NOW Potassium Chloride Powder

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PipingRock.com Potassium Citrate

Puritan's Pride Potassium

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Rexall [Dollar General] Potassium

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Solaray Potassium

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Solgar Potassium

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Swanson Ultra Potassium Citrate

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Vitacost Potassium & Magnesium

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Vitamin World Potassium 99 mg

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Summary

  • Do I need potassium? Potassium is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system, skeletal system, heart, and metabolism, as well as maintaining normal blood pressure (See What It Is). It can easily be obtained through the diet, but people taking certain drugs or with conditions affecting the kidneys or gut may be deficient (See What to Consider When Using). Low potassium is also common among people hospitalized with COVID-19, caused by the new coronavirus.
  • What does potassium do? Potassium supplements are typically used only to treat or prevent potassium deficiency. Supplementing with potassium may also help to reduce high blood pressure. The citrate form of potassium may also reduce the risk of kidney stones (See What It Does).
  • How much potassium should I take? For preventing potassium loss, potassium is often recommended at doses of 200 to 400 mg, taken 3 to 4 times daily (for a total daily dose ranging from 600 mg to 1,600 mg). For lowering blood pressure in people with hypertension, larger amounts are often used (3,000 mg per day) (See What to Consider When Using). Nearly all common forms of potassium are absorbed equally well (See What to Consider When Buying).
  • Best potassium supplement? CL's tests found most potassium supplements to be of high quality, but arsenic contamination was found in one product (See What CL Found). Among the products that passed testing, ConsumerLab.com selected its Top Picks, several of which cost just 1 to 2 cents per serving and most of which are chelates (e.g., gluconate, citrate, or aspartate).
  • Safety and side effects of potassium: Potassium from supplements may cause diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, mild gas and vomiting, which may be reduced by taking with meals. Less common side effects include confusion, irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath. People with kidney disease and people taking potassium-sparing diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole should not take potassium supplements without medical supervision (See Concerns and Cautions).

You must be a ConsumerLab.com member to get the full test results along with ConsumerLab.com's recommendations and quality ratings of potassium supplements — including potassium-magnesium combinations. You will get results for 16 supplements — 11 selected by ConsumerLab.com and five which passed testing in our voluntary Quality Certification Program, as well as information about two supplements similar to one that passed testing. 

In this comprehensive review, you'll discover:
  • Which potassium supplements passed and which failed our testing
  • Which potassium supplements offer the best value and are CL's Top Picks
  • Direct comparisons and quality ratings of potassium supplements
  • The pros and cons of different forms of potassium (such as potassium chloride, potassium citrate, and potassium gluconate) and dosage forms (such as pills and powders) 
  • Dosing of potassium for specific uses
  • How to avoid being misled by labels on potassium supplements  
  • Food sources of potassium  
  • Potential side-effects and concerns with potassium 

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