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"Reducing acid in diet seen as boon to bones"

Globe and Mail

Source: Globe and Mail

Published: 16 Nov 2021

Category: Other

Rating: (2½ stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Some scientists have speculated that the high acidity of the modern diet may be one reason so many women suffer from weak and brittle bones as they age. Simply put, elevated acidity levels could lead to a gradual breakdown of bone mass.

Now, however, a study by Swiss researchers suggests that potassium citrate supplements can neutralize the acidity, and possibly prevent crippling osteoporosis.

"In the modern diet, acid is generated from foods like dairy products, grains and meats," explained Reto Krapf of the University of Basel. But, he noted, the kidneys can't quite keep up with the job of removing all the acid, resulting in mildly elevated blood acidity...

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 5 of 10
Availability of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of harms of treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This story discusses a study looking at the effect of taking potassium citrate on bone density in postmenopausal women. The researchers demonstrated that women, who took potassium citrate, when compared to placebo, had a 2% difference (greater) in bone density at the end of the study.

They stated that this effect on bone was similar to that seen with other treatments used in osteoporosis. However, this was a not a study comparing potassium citrate to anything other than placebo so comparisons are difficult to make.

In addition, this study did not enroll enough subjects to evaluate the impact of this agent on fractures; the really important health issue associated with osteoporosis. While this study provides some intriguing results, longer treatment evaluations in more subjects looking at the effect of potassium citrate on fractures are needed before one could recommend this therapy.

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