By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Millions of heart failure patients could benefit by adding a well-known supplement to the treatment.

Patients suffering from heart failure are often treated with diuretics, but Dr. Sean Hennessy,
associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, says the medication is not perfect:

“They get rid of extra fluid which makes it so your heart can pump more easily, but as part of getting rid of the fluid, they also make you get rid of potassium which is essential for your cells.”

Dr. Hennessy says his research proves adding potassium supplements will help:

“It reduced the death rate by seven-percent if you’re getting low dose ferosemide and 16-percent if you’re getting high dose ferosemide.”

Nearly six-million Americans suffer from heart failure.

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