This post concludes a short series on potassium deficiency, inspired and based on the late Joe Vialls’s article on potassium deficiency, which affects most of us.

This entry and the two previous ones — part 1 and part 2 — are on my Recipes/Health/History page. If you have not read them, they add information helpful in understanding this concluding post.

Today’s post includes Joe Vialls’s self-cure for angina — do not try this at home! It is presented as Vialls would have wished — for illustration purposes only.

Emphases mine below.

How much potassium?

The natural reaction for some discovering information on potassium deficiency might be to say, ‘So what? I’m still alive, potassium or not.’

Vialls posited that one can live with a potassium deficiency but that it might well catch up with them in later years. When that takes place, it could be painful:

If Mother Nature was to deprive you of potassium completely, hard scientific evidence proves you would be dead in less than three weeks. But in many ways this would be a merciful release when compared with the infinitely more painful and far slower death caused by slow potassium deprivation, the preferred method of the FDA and AMA. Proper scientists agree the daily potassium requirements of an average adult lie between 3,200 and 4,100 milligrams, but the average potassium intake of Americans through the food chain is only 1,500 to 2,100 milligrams per day, representing an overall average shortfall of 1,850 milligrams.

Obviously humans can survive at these savagely depleted levels, because Americans manage to eke out about 70 years each, before this basic potassium deficiency overwhelms them and they finally die, sometimes in great pain from a number of directly related illnesses including arthritis, osteoporosis, hypertension [high blood pressure], angina, strokes and so on. It is scientifically beyond question that all would live longer and suffer less pain if they received the necessary quantity of potassium each day, which is where the American Food & Drug Administration [FDA] should do a John Wayne job, and ride gallantly to the rescue.

Alas, the Food and Drug Administration has not and will not do so, because of sustained lobby pressure by the pharmaceutical multinationals. Despite having full and unrestricted access to the real scientific data providing hard proof of widespread potassium deficiency bordering on a pandemic, the FDA has deliberately avoided specifying a “Recommended Dietary Allowance” [RDA], while simultaneously passing a law restricting the potassium content of all alternative medicines to a mere 100 milligrams.

Furthermore, as potassium is not fat-soluble, such as Vitamin D, we need to have a daily dose. Potassium is water-soluble, exiting the body via perspiration and urine. We lose even more in periods of stress, physical or mental. All the more reason to buy No Salt or Lo Salt, depending on where one lives, to at least attempt to increase our daily intake. This salt substitute product is sprinkled on food and is potassium chloride — sylvite, what people and animals used to eat before table salt. Therefore, it can be used as satisfactorily and safely.

Vialls’s self-adminisered cure for angina — don’t try this at home

Vialls treated himself for angina, the symptoms of which he experienced in 2003, two years before he died.

For most of his adult life, he had what the medical fraternity refer to as ‘essential hypertension’, high blood pressure which cannot be explained. It is a condition that appears to be intrinsic to that person for whatever reason.

Consequently, Vialls’s doctors could not advise him other than to give him a variety of prescription medicines over the years, nothing more — and no advice about potassium levels:

… eight different medical doctors gave me a staggering variety of ‘patent medicines’, none of which produced a steady reduction of blood pressure, though on two notable occasions the medicines caused ‘bad reactions’ which dropped my blood pressure so low and so suddenly, that my wife could barely get a reading. At no time during this 25-year period did any of the medical doctors suggest that it might be a good idea to measure my serum electrolyte levels, in order to check for potassium deficiency. As you might expect, this entire sequence put me off the medical profession in a very big way.

Vialls did not say whether a potassium chloride-based salt substitute existed in Australia when he decided to take matters into his own hands.

He decided not to buy Slow K, a 600mg tablet sold in Australian pharmacies, because:

The problem here is that all chunks of salt are biochemically “hot’, meaning that as the sugar coating wears off the outside of the pill, the chunk of undissolved salt is exposed, and can then come into direct contact with delicate internal tissues. In my casual view, this could easily cause some sort of perforation or an ulcer.

Today, several websites discussing potassium supplements — outside of salt substitutes — say to take them with plenty of water or juice.

What Vialls did next was extreme. His method leaves little to be recommended, although it did work.

He said he was telling his story to illustrate how important potassium is and that one could cure oneself of potassium-deficient diseases without the aid of a physician.

He decided to buy

a kilogram of AR [Analytical Reagent] grade potassium chloride salt from a chemical warehouse, mercifully not yet under the direct control of the American FDA, or the Australian AMA.

Cost wise this was also a plus, because the whole kilogram set me back a mere US$30.00 including taxes, which is cheap enough when you realize that my potassium chloride purchase contained approximately 620 grams [or 620,000 milligrams] of the same potassium the FDA has restricted to 100-milligrams per dose in the health food shops. You do the math. Pop down to your local health food provider and ask for a quote on 6,200 x 100-milligram potassium supplements. Be ready to write a very large check.

His potassium chloride salt was 100% water soluble, which meant that when he mixed it with water and fruit juice, there was no danger of it irritating his stomach or gut.

He figured out that in order to prevent a possible heart attack or stroke from angina attacks which were getting worse and worse, he would have to take huge daily doses of the potassium chloride salt:

a minimum of 50 grams or 50,000 milligrams of potassium, representing about 1/5th of the 250 grams total that an adult male should contain within his body.

Every eight hours for the next ten days, he dissolved 4 g — 400 mg — of the potassium-chloride salt in a mix of water and fruit juice. He drank the preparation slowly each time.

After five days, the angina had disappeared. However, he felt increasingly tired. He could not think straight, either.

He took more of the potassium solution until he went over the 110,000 mg mark:

by then I was so exhausted I could no longer write or use the computer.

After that point, his faculties returned.

This success story is shocking, but Vialls went on to say that during the 1940s, American doctors were allowed to give hypertensive patients 68.2 g — 68,200 mg — of potassium solution over the course of five days:

before their research funding was mysteriously and abruptly withdrawn. When viewed in the latter context, my actions do not seem unreasonable.

After ten days, Vialls’s angina disappeared completely, along with his fatigue and disorientation.

He took daily supplements to maintain his health:

2,000 milligrams potassium per day [3,200 milligrams of AR grade potassium chloride salt], plus 200 milligrams of magnesium orotate to minimize losses.

He gave this disclaimer and justification for sharing his story:

Though medical doctors might rave about me illegally ‘giving medical advice without a license’, I am doing no such thing. In the first place potassium is a naturally-occuring mineral essential in our diets for normal development, which places it firmly in the ‘nutrition’ rather than ‘medical’ basket. Secondly there is no way that any government agency can prevent determined people from getting their hands on potassium chloride if they really wish to do so. The material is produced in bulk and used for hundreds of applications. For example, about every third oil rig drilling in the Rocky Mountains probably has about 25,000 pounds of the stuff, neatly stacked in sacks at the edge of the rig site.


It came as a relief to read his conclusion that the rest of us should use a potassium chloride salt substitute and, where possible, eat fruit and vegetables grown in properly mineralised soil following strict organic rotation.

Of course, the latter is hard to determine, which makes potassium chloride — the sylvite which man and beast ate until the 19th century — a better, more dependable option.

End of series