Last update Aug. 6, 2021
Very Low Risk
Unprocessed plant foods such as legumes, nuts, vegetables and fruits are very rich in potassium.
A dietary intake of potassium of about 3,500 mg (90 mmol) per day is recommended (WHO 2013, WHO 2012, Hall 2010).
Potassium chloride is the most widely used potassium salt in medicine to correct, orally or intravenously, potassium deficiency (hypokalemia).
Also used as a substitute (E508) for common salt to reduce sodium intake in the diet.
Potassium is an ion present in breast milk at a concentration 3 to 7 times greater than that of plasma: ≈ 14 - 18 mEq/L (Lawrence 2016, Allen 1991).
Like other monovalent ions, it enters and leaves the milk freely, inversely to the lactose concentration (Lawrence 2016 p119).
Potassium supplements do not significantly change levels in breast milk (Hale, Ereman 1987).
In the body, it is found mainly within cells, with a plasma concentration within precise limits (3.5 to 5.5 mEq/L), outside of which there are serious clinical alterations.
Potassium treatments cannot raise the concentration in milk without first altering that of the blood.
At therapeutic doses, potassium chloride is compatible with lactation (Hale, Briggs 2015).
WHO Essential Medicines List: compatible with breastfeeding (WHO 2002)
We do not have alternatives for E508 since it is relatively safe.
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.
Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.
Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.
e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Asociación Española de Bancos de Leche Humana of Spain
Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM