Alkaline Diets Favor Lean Tissue Mass
Background: Maintaining muscle mass while aging is important to prevent falls and fractures. Metabolic acidosis promotes muscle wasting, and the net acid load from diets that are rich in net acid–producing protein and cereal grains relative to their content of net alkali–producing fruit and vegetables may therefore contribute to a reduction in lean tissue mass in older adults.
Objective: We aimed to determine whether there was an association of 24-h urinary potassium and an index of fruit and vegetable content of the diet with the percentage lean body mass (%LBM) or change in %LBM in older subjects.
Design: Subjects were 384 men and women ≥65 year old who participated in a 3-year trial comparing calcium and vitamin D with placebo. Potassium was measured in 24-h urine collections at baseline. The %LBM, defined as total body nonfat, non-bone tissue weight ÷ weight × 100, was measured by using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at baseline and at 3 year. Physical activity, height, and weight were assessed at baseline and at 3 year.
Results: At baseline, the mean urinary potassium excretion was 67.0 ± 21.1 mmol/d. Urinary potassium (mmol/d) was significantly positively associated with %LBM at baseline (β = 0.033, P = 0.006; adjusted for sex, weight, and nitrogen excretion) but not with 3-year change in %LBM. Over the 3-year study, %LBM increased by 2.6 ± 3.6%.
Conclusion: Higher potassium excretion, an index of alkaline potassium salt intake, is associated with a higher %LBM in healthy older men and women. This association is likely to result from the fact that the ingestion of potassium-rich alkaline foods such as fruit and vegetables relieves the mild metabolic acidosis that occurs with the ingestion of a typical American diet that is rich in protein, cereal grains, and other net acid–producing foods.
Health-e-Solutions comment: Lean body mass is very important to better blood sugar management. The Health-e-Solutions lifestyle shifts dietary focus away from acid-producing protein and grains toward alkali-producing fruit and vegetables. Preservation of lean body mass is only one positive aspect of increasing the dietary intake of potassium salts. We also think magnesium and calcium bicarbonates are beneficial.
Balance is the key to great health. One of the many impressive balancing acts that occur in the body on a continuous basis is the creation of acid by metabolic processes, countered by the neutralization of acid by alkaline buffers. This determines the pH of the body. Unfortunately, most of the foods that you eat today are acid-forming such as processed food, most bottled goods, fats, oils, sugars, bakery goods, cereals and most cooked, fried and baked goods.
The typical western diet consists of about 80 percent acidic foods and only about 20 percent alkaline foods when most likely you should be eating exactly the opposite – 80 percent alkaline foods and only 20 percent acidic foods. You CAN impact your long term health and well-being, by changing your diet and lifestyle. Log in to your Health-e-Solutions free member account to access this free special report, which discusses one of the primary food filters for the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle to master diabetes in the healthiest way possible.