Did you know that hip fractures, for example, are higher in milk consuming countries? That may come as a surprise given that dairy products are an excellent source of calcium. So how is it that Asians, with a lower calcium intake, are less prone to osteoporosis? Because it is the overall content of the diet that matters, not just the amount of calcium or vitamin D it contains. The acid-base balance of the diet seems to be an important feature. 

A proper acid-base balance is critical to health and it is well established that the body requires that the fluid surrounding cells be maintained at a pH between 7.35 and 7.45. pH, of course, is just a measure of acidity. The lower the number the more acidic the solution. Now, if a food with an acid residue is consumed, the body will take steps to ensure that extracellular fluid pH doesn’t drop below 7.35. The extra acid may be excreted by the kidneys, exhaling carbon dioxide also raises pH, or bones may release alkaline calcium salts to neutralize the excess acid. Bone is dynamic, some is always being formed by osteoblasts, and some broken down by osteoclasts. Unfortunately increased acidity enhances the activity of osteoclasts, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.

Now, if the diet does not lead to an acid residue, there is no need for the bones to release calcium. So an increase in fruits and vegetables, with their alkaline residue, is great for bone structure.


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