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Alkaline Body = Better Bone Health
Why do we as Americans suffer such high rates of osteoporosis, despite the fact that we consume more calcium through diet and supplements than many other populations? One major factor is our imbalanced diets which run sky high in acidifying foods like sugar and animal products, leading to an internal state of low-level, chronic “metabolic acidosis.” And, regrettably, your bones — along with the rest of your body — end up paying the price.
Too Much Acid
Our natural internal terrain operates best at a tightly-controlled alkaline pH of around 7.4. Our metabolic, enzymatic, and other biochemical reactions all necessary for life only function in a very narrow pH range. And so your body, being the innately wise organism that it is, has masterminded a set of checks and balances for ensuring this happens. You see, not only does the metabolism of foods produce acids, but routine, fundamental bodily processes naturally do as well. For example, when you exercise, your body produces lactic acid. When you eat sulfur-rich animal proteins (meat and dairy), sugar, processed goods, and certain grains, your body generates acidic by-products through the metabolism of these foods. And other factors like aging, reduced kidney function, airway disease, and even emotional stress can also contribute to climbing acidity.
Alkalizers to the Rescue
As soon as your blood and tissues start creeping into the acidic range, your body’s “alarms” go off and the alkalizing fighters are activated and mobilized. Alkaline minerals (like calcium, potassium and magnesium) from fruits and vegetables and an array of other alkaline fare can be utilized. But, if there aren’t sufficient quantities of these foods present, your body has to look elsewhere and dip into its vast pool of minerals to buffer the acidity. And what is your largest mineral repository? Your bones. So your body responds by snatching precious calcium salts and other alkalizing minerals from your skeleton.
The Dangers of Acidity on Bone Health
So you can see where this is headed: in order to survive and bounce back from an overly acidic state of being, your bones have to face the unlucky consequences. Along with loss of bone minerals, low-lying metabolic acidosis is also linked to a series of health problems including loss of muscle mass, free radical production, development of kidney stones, and likely many other autoimmune and degenerative conditions.
You Have the Power to Halt Mineral “Snatching”
A diet heavily slanted towards refined sugar, animal proteins, refined grains and lacking in fruits and vegetables creates the perfect storm for bone mineral snatching to occur. However, you have the power to change this.
A study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism indicates that increasing the alkalinity of the body may substantially lower bone loss in older people. This can be done by eating a whole foods diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and other alkalizing choices (even drinking bicarbonate rich mineral water seems to help). Additionally, it is important to replete your stores of calcium, magnesium, and the other bone-building champions like vitamin D3, K1, and K2 through a bioavailable, plant-based bone health supplement. Assuring your body is getting rich sources of plants through valuable herbal sources and a high-quality, diverse green superfood drink is also wise.
1 Dawson-Hughes B, Harris SS, Palermo NJ, Castaneda-Sceppa C, Rasmussen HM, Dallal GE. Treatment with potassium bicarbonate lowers calcium excretion and bone resorption in older men and women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Jan;94(1):96-102. Epub 2008 Oct 21.
2 Wynn E, Krieg MA, Lanham-New SA, Burckhardt P. Postgraduate Symposium: Positive influence of bone health. Proc Nutr Soc. 2010 Feb;69(1):166-73. Epub 2009 Dec 3.
Copyright © 2011 The Synergy Company Author: The Synergy Company™ Author: Dr. Chanté Wiegand, ND