Potassium citrate may be effective for preventing and even treating osteoporosis, suggests a new study.
The Western diet creates an acidic environment in the body that removes calcium from bones and may contribute to the development of osteoporosis.
Healthy adults who consume the standard US diet sustain a chronic, low-grade state of acidosis that worsens with age as kidney function declines, limiting urinary acid excretion.
Reto Krapf, MD (University of Basel, in Bruderholz/Basel, Switzerland) and colleagues designed a study to see if daily alkali as potassium citrate supplement tablets might neutralize these effects.
They enrolled 201 healthy elderly individuals of both genders with normal bone mass in a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Participants received either 60 mmol alkali as potassium citrate (a base) or a placebo every day for 2 years.
Bone density and high resolution computed tomography scans after 2 years revealed that neutralizing diet-induced acid production with potassium citrate significantly and safely increased subjects' bone density vs. placebo.
"In addition, we discovered that bone architecture improved significantly, suggesting that not only bone mass, but also its quality was improved," said Dr. Krapf.
These results suggest and predict that potassium citrate may be effective for preventing and even treating osteoporosis.