There’s a fascinating article in the New York Times called Exploring a Low-Acid Regimen for Bone Health, which may interest many readers. It discusses the research as to how thinning bones (osteoporosis) may in part be caused by a high-acid diet. The intriguing research was spurred by questions:
…Why, for example, are osteoporotic fractures relatively rare in Asian countries like Japan, where people live as long or longer than Americans and consume almost no calcium-rich dairy products? Why, in Western countries that consume the most dairy foods, are rates of osteoporotic fractures among the highest in the world? And why has no consistent link been found between the amount of calcium people consume and protection against osteoporosis?…
One theory behind this actual difference is that the western diet, even while loaded with calcium-containing cheeses and breads, also has a more acidic diet due to more meats. And this acidic environment hinders the uptake of calcium, which is essential for healthy bones. One study compared an alkaline group (taking bicarbonate) to placebo and found much less calcium loss in the alkaline group.
The take-home message, as usual, is that fruits and vegetables are great for you! In this case, they create a nice alkaline stomach environment to absorb the nutrients you need. This is important information for all women, who are at much higher risk than men of osteoporosis; those of you already on calcium and vitamin D supplements should now be aware that how you take with your pill is just as important as how much you take.
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