Diabetes is thought to be a result of many different factors, including a person's diet, genetics, lifestyle and socioeconomic status. However, researchers have recently found that there may be another cause of the condition that could prove to be much easier to cure - potassium levels.
After analyzing the data from more than 12,000 participants, a team from Johns Hopkins University concluded that not having enough potassium each day could make one twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Jessica Hsin-Chieh Yeh speculates that this may partially explain why diabetes is much more prevalent among African Americans than other demographics. On average, African Americans only consume half of the 4,7000 milligrams recommended by the government.
This could be valuable information for those looking to lead a healthy retirement living, but researchers recommend caution.
"This research doesn't mean people should run out and start taking potassium supplements," she said. "But we now know lower serum potassium is an independent risk factor for diabetes... What remains to be seen is if increasing potassium levels through diet or supplementation can prevent the most common form of diabetes."
The American Diabetes Association states that 25.8 million people have diabetes in the United States.