Potassium orotate is a mineral salt that is normally found in small amounts in all living things. Each molecule of potassium
orotate consists of a molecule of orotic acid in which one of the hydrogen atoms is replaced by a potassium atom.
Orotate (orotic acid) is a biochemical substance made by all living cells. It is a necessary raw material for making the genetic
material: RNA and DNA.
Potassium is an essential mineral throughout the biological world, and is the most prevalent positive-charged ion in animal
cells. This element helps to regulate the amounts of water and electrolytes in cells and plays an important role in nerve
conduction and muscle contraction.
Disorders and symptoms linked to potassium deficiency include: diarrhea, increased urination, vomiting, muscle weakness, paralytic ileus, cardiovascular and heartbeat abnormalities, decreased
reflex response, respiratory paralysis, growth retardation, diabetes and insulin resistance, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults consume at least 4,700 mg/day of potassium. But it is thought that most Americans
and Europeans consume far less than that.
What we can’t tell you
In the U.S. and some other industrialized countries, government agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
have adopted censorship as a method for intensifying their control over the supplement industry and its customers.
Thus, FDA regulations prohibit us from telling you that any of our products are effective as medical treatments,
even if they are, in fact, effective.
Accordingly, we will limit our discussion of Potassium Orotate to a brief summary of relevant research,
and let you draw your own conclusions about what medical conditions it may be effective in treating.
Potassium orotate’s history of use in clinical investigations dates back to the 1950s. It was found to be useful in a variety of medical areas, including:
- liver damage
- skin ailments
- excess uric acid in the blood
- heart damage
- viral hepatitis
- growth and maturation
- lung damage
- bone fractures
- kidney failure
- blood circulation
Dr. Hans Nieper, the innovative German physician, popularized potassium orotate as a supplement during the 1970s and 1980s by using it to treat or prevent the following conditions:
- cardiovascular disease
- immune suppression after surgery
Nieper considered orotates to be superior to carbonates, chlorides, sulfates, and other negative-charged ions as bioavailability
enhancers for minerals like potassium.
Hans Nieper was a controversial figure whose treatments were denounced by many in the medical profession and were targeted
by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — despite the fact that these critics had done essentially no investigation of these
treatments, and despite the fact that countless thousands of Nieper’s patients and followers found the treatments to be superbly
effective. Nieper died in 1998, but his influence lives on.
Other researchers have also studied some of the medical applications of potassium ororate. Let’s look briefly at these applications.
Liver damage and hepatitis
The liver is unusual among mammalian organs in that it can often recover from severe injuries by regenerating the damaged
tissue. Animal studies have shown that potassium orotate speeds up this repair process.
176 children were given potassium orotate supplements for two years. The treatment “improved the oral fluid resistance to
carbohydrate action” — that is, it prevented the development of cavities in teeth.
Immunity to skin fungal infections
A 1989 study showed that potassium orotate, taken orally, stimulated the components of the immune system that fight fungal
infections on the soles of the feet. Vitamin B2, riboflavin, has a similar effect and might work synergistically with the orotate.
Balance and inner ear function
Structures in the inner ear, known as the ‘vestibular apparatus’, enable us to keep our balance and sense of orientation as
we move around. Dysfunctions of the vestibular apparatus can cause dizziness, disorientation, and nausea. In a Russian experiment,
volunteers with a low vestibular tolerance were exposed to ‘coriolis’ motions that disrupted vestibular function. Potassium
orotate (40 mg/kg-bodyweight/day during 12-14 days) “significantly increased statokinetic tolerance and produced a protective
effect on the central nervous function against Coriolis acceleration” as assessed by EEG, short-term memory, and mental performance. In other words, this supplement may be helpful for people who suffer bouts of dizziness and disorientation.
Potassium orotate can also reduce anxiety in stressful situations. When rats were given this supplement and then exposed to
situations that would normally have caused them to behave anxiously, they showed significantly less of this behavior.
In experiments on 3-4-week-old rats it was shown that potassium orotate supplementation for 30 days “accelerates the recovery
of the working capacity after maximal exercise, increases the content of ATP in the muscles, and reduces the blood urea content”.
Mouse experiments have shown that potassium orotate (100 mg/kg) in oral doses have an antidepressant activity. This antidepressant
action is accompanied by a psychostimulant effect.
Are Potassium Orotate supplements useful for the conditions and purposes mentioned above?
We aren’t allowed to tell you, so you should take a look at some of the references cited here,
and then decide for yourself.
For a good introductory discussion of mineral salts and other related mineral transporters, see the review Mineral chelates, salts and colloids by Alvin Hashimoto. For an explanation of possible mechanisms through which orotates operate in the body, see the article How orotates work: The biochemistry of ‘vitamin B13’ by Ed Sharpe. The government of the UK published a good review of potassium in diet and medicine in 2002.