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Increased potassium intake may strengthen bones

January 26, 2016

A new review concludes that a supplementation of alkaline potassium salts may help preserve bone health by lowering the excretion of calcium and acid.

The meta-analysis included the data of 14 studies investigating the potential relationship between intakes of alkaline potassium salts and bone health (1). The data analysis showed that increased intakes of potassium salts reduced the participants’ bone resorption – the process whereby bone minerals are broken down and released into the blood – therefore increasing their strength. In addition, high intakes of potassium salts significantly reduced the excretion of calcium and acid in urine.

The researchers commented that excess acid in the body, produced as a result of a typical Western diet high in animal and cereal protein, causes bones to weaken and fracture. The observation that potassium reduced acid excretion may mean that excess acid was neutralized by the mineral and bone mineral was preserved. Thus, potassium salts could prevent osteoporosis. The data on potential effects of potassium on bone formation and bone mineral density (BMD) and what this means for fracture risk were limited and less conclusive.

References

  1. Lambert H. et al. The effect of supplementation with alkaline potassium salts on bone metabolism: a meta-analysis. Osteoporosis International. Published online January 2015.