Osteoporosis - Dr. Tom Gilhooly
The Impact of Alkaline Water on Osteoporosis - Dr. Tom Gilhooly
Bone is a dynamic tissue with continual remodeling taking place due to the activity of two opposing types of cells, osteoblasts which lay down the mineral matrix and build bone, and osteoclasts which break down this matrix and thin bones. In osteoporosis, the breaking down or resorption of bone dominates and results in a loss of mineral matrix and weakness of the bone. There are a number of factors which influence this process including age, mineral content of diet and vitamin D status. One additional factor which has been postulated to have an impact on bone turnover is the acid base balance of the diet. An acidic diet it thought to increase bone resorption as calcium is taken from the bone and used to neutralize the acidity produced by the diet. Known as the “Acid Ash” hypothesis, there are several studies which confirm this hypothesis. (1,2) Cola beverages but not other carbonated soft drinks are associated with an increase in osteoporosis (3) probably due to the acidity of these drinks (4). Increasing alkalinity using potassium citrate has been shown to increase bone mineral density associated with an increase in osteoporosis (3) probably due to the acidity of these drinks (4). Increasing alkalinity using potassium citrate has been shown to increase bone mineral density and reduce urinary calcium loss (5). There is direct association with urine acidity and loss of calcium and magnesium in the urine (6) which is more pronounced in the elderly suggesting that acidity has a larger impact on mineral status in this group (7).
Roux et al (8) looked at the impact of alkaline water intake on C-telopeptide of the alpha 1 chain of type I collagen (CTX) the most accurate method of monitoring bone turnover (9). Subjects drinking alkaline water had a significant reduction in CTX in the urine suggesting a reduction in osteoclast activity and bone breakdown. Drinking alkaline water is therefore likely to contribute positively to bone health and help prevent osteoporosis.
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