Dem bones love fruit & veg

The journal Osteoporosis International has recently published a review of studies on bone health and acid-alkali balance in the body. Everything we eat forms either acids or alkalis when digested and there has been much debate about whether acid-forming foods, such as meat, cheese, sugar and alcohol, can result in weaker bones.

The theory is that acids need to be neutralised and the body does this by using calcium from the blood, muscles or bones and that the demands of too much acid can result in a reduction in the amount of calcium needed for healthy bones. This review looked at studies where people were given alkaline salts that naturally occur in fruit and vegetables to supplement their diet and then analysed the results.

The researchers found that increasing the intake of alkalis resulted in a reduced loss of calcium through urine and a lower rate of bone degradation. They concluded that potassium salts (alkalis) have the potential to prevent osteoporosis and recommend increased consumption of fruit and vegetables as a means to improve bone health. Fruit and vegetables contain potassium and create alkalis during digestion.

These findings are in line with our Break Free diet recommendations for healthy bones. For more information go to www.whitelies.org.uk/bones

Lambert H et al., 2015. The effect of supplementation with alkaline potassium salts on bone metabolism: a meta-analysis. Osteoporosis International. 26(4):1311-1318.