According to researchers, potassium-rich foods prevent arteries from hardening and reduce the risk of fatal blockages.
The team found that mice which were fed potassium-rich food experienced reduced stiffness in their aorta, which is the body's main artery.
Previous research revealed that stiff, inflexible arteries increase a person's risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
The researchers believe potassium regulates genes that maintain artery flexibility.
Study author Dr Paul Sanders from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, said that the findings demonstrate the benefit of adequate potassium supplementation on prevention of vascular [hardening].
They conducted a study on mice, who were at-risk of heart disease were fed a high-fat diet.
While conducting the study, mice were given low, normal and high levels of potassium.
Arteries become hard with a low-potassium diet. While mice given high potassium diet experienced less artery hardening.
Dr Sanders added that the findings have important translational potential since they demonstrate the benefit of adequate potassium supplementation on prevention of vascular calcification in atherosclerosis-prone mice and the adverse effect of low-potassium intake.
The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight. (ANI)