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Question On Vitamin C And Potassium

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Question On Vitamin C And Potassium

Postby Gorsedd » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:34 pm

Hi Dr. Falkinburg,

I emailed you last week with a question about IP-6 and Beta Glucan.  You said it appeared okay for my husband to take this and I brought the bottles with me to my husband's nephrologist appointment and he said it seemed okay.  These products help the immune system.  My husband had kidney stones in remaining kidney, kidney cancer removed kidney, and kidney failure in remaining kidney.His creatinine levels were 2.8 with his last blood work.  We went to see a renal dietitian last night and she said potassium was elevated to 5.4 the top number is 5.0.  She said this can cause death if it keeps rising.  The nephrologist didn't even mention this value to us.  She said we need to watch out for hidden potassium as well as vitamin C.  She said maybe we should not be taking the IP-6 as it does have vitamin c.  Here are the ingredients for 2 tablets which is the customary dosage.  Vitamin C(as Calcium Absorbate) 228 mg.  Calcium(as Calcium Absorbate) 88 mg.  IP-6 1100 mg.  Beta 1/3,1/6 Glucan 15 mg.  He also takes an additional 200 mg of Beta Glucan.  So he takes 2 of the IP-6 tablets twice a day and one of the Beta Glucan 200 mg. twice a day.  Both are taken on an empty stomach.  Should we be concerned about the Vitamin C?  What is the Vitamin C connection and kidney failure?  She did more harm for me than good as she really did not tell me anything diet wise that I did not know. Also, how often should he be having blood work done to check these levels?  Thank you for taking the time to answer this email and also my previous ones.  You do the public a great service.
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Question On Vitamin C And Potassium

Postby makkapitew38 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:50 pm

Dear Maryann,

You need not worry about vitamin C.  It does neither good nor harm.  If he feels it makes him feel better it's OK to take. There is no connection between vitamin C and kidney failure. His potassium(K+) is high but not too high.  Rather than wondering about hidden sources of  K+ he needs to know the foods that are rich in K+ so they can be avoided.

I would suggest monitoring blood work biweekly until they are stable, especially the potassium, then monthly or bimonthly.

It is important for you to know that, although some of these supplements have a salutory effect upon the immune system in the laboratory, there is not one wit of evidence that they have any measurable clinical effect, good or bad. Certainly they do not effect survival.  Therefore, if there is any question about them whatsoever, I'd be very quick to discontinue them.

I would also suggest that your husband be placed on a low protein diet.  This has been shown to slow the progression of kidney disease as well as ameliorate any symptoms that may occur from kidney failure itself.

thanks for the follow up.


Dr. Falkinburg
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