So I was discussing latent acidosis with a friend last night and decided to do some research today. It easy to find people implicating chronic latent acidosis in all sorts of chronic disease but they often seem to have something to sell (red flag). So I switch over to Google scholar and find a number of articles on the relationship between latent acidosis and osteoporosis/depletion of bone minerals.
In light of this I'm ready to give the latent acidosis theorists the benefit of the doubt for now because I can follow their logic: Metabolic production of strong acids requires the acids to be escorted out of the body by minerals resulting in mineral depletion over a long period of time which causes a host of health problems (having recently read a bit about magnesium deficiency recently I can understand the breadth of the suggested problems even though there isn't really a lot of evidence for anything other than osteoporosis).
To me there are two main ways to fight this:
1- Reducing food that produces acids when metabolised.
2- Compensate for the depletion but increasing intake of bio-available minerals.
The proposed culprits under #1 are grains (or even starch in general), sugar and protein. I think there are a lot of other factors that need to be considered when addressing these macronutrients so this might not be the best solution.
That leaves #2 and brings me to my question: What do you think is the best way to fight mineral depletion?(or if you have evidence that latent acidosis isn't really a problem I'd like to hear that too)
I've already given some consideration to possible answers:
1- Eat more fruits and vegetables (modern farming may have depleted our soils to the point of this no longer being a effective solution by itself)
2- daily multivitamin/multimineral (I'm skeptical of this because because so many studies show no benefit to all cause mortality)
3- Supplementing specific minerals (I've recently started taking magnesium and found it's effects quite positive so far, but it would be difficult to get all the needed trace minerals this way)
4- Drink harder water (there are some interesting studies on hard water and heart disease)
5- Use sea salt
6- Bone broth (use the minerals directly from the animals we're getting the protein from to counteract the acid affects of the protein)
Edit: here is the review article that got me thinking this might be more than just pseudo-science http://www.protina.de/literaturservice/media/cms_48921ca478e63.pdf
Edit 2: I've read the full article more thoroughly and found it very interesting. There is even a nod to paleo in there. My interpretation of their results would point to recommendations to eat more fruits and vegetables, reduce grain/sugar and/or protein intake and increase intake of alkaline minerals.
I'm inclined to think that reducing grains and sugar in favour of higher fat intake (the only macro nutrient not implicated in acid production) combined with fruits and vegetables and other sources of alkaline minerals would be the appropriate approach (which brings us back to my initial question of what the best source of alkaline minerals)
asked byAntipirate (120)
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on April 02, 2012
at 04:50 AM
Protein: This paper published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition discusses the importance of protein on bone health. Here are two quotes from the paper:
"Experimentally selective deficiency in dietary proteins causes marked deterioration in bone mass, micro-architecture and strength, the hallmark of the osteoporosis disease"
"Clinically large prospective epidemiologic studies indicate that relatively high protein intake is associated with increased bone mineral mass and reduced incidence of osteoporotic fracture"
I think the evidence shows that protein may be acidifying and may increase renal excretion of calcium, but it also balances this out by increasing calcium absorption from food (perhaps via increasing IGF-1, which might come with its own problems, but that's a topic for another discussion). Furthermore, low protein diets are often associated with poor bone health. I would suggest that getting adequate protein is more important for bone health than avoiding "excessive" protein.
Grains: The calculated potential renal acid load of grains is fairly positive, meaning they're metabolized to acids. I think that might suggest grains aren't great for bone health, given that they also lack a lot of the protein and other nutrients that might improve calcium metabolism. Studies like this one frequently demonstrate that cereal grains have negative effects on indicators of bone health compared to fruits and vegetables. I don't think grains are doing anyone favors when it comes to bone health.
Two researchers from the University of California, San Francisco have published numerous papers on the acid-base balance topic. Their names are Anthony Sebastian and Lynda Frassetto. Their studies are interesting and worth reading if you're interested in this topic. Frassetto co-authored this review article called "Diet-induced acidosis: is it real and clinically relevant". I think it gives a good scientific overview of the acid-base theory as it relates to diet and none of the jibber jabber from unscrupulous book pushers and "Alkaline Diet" advocates.
Sebastian and Frassetto also believe excess salt is a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of bone loss via acidosis. I've looked into this myself and don't really agree with them.
on April 01, 2012
at 08:09 PM
"The last temptation is the greatest treason
To do the right deed for the wrong reason."
--Thomas Beckett character in T.S. Eliot's "Murder in the Cathedral"
I agree with all of your answers, but I don't buy the premise of your question, that mineral depletion and osteoporosis are problems primarily of acid/base balance. Here's an interesting review debunking the concept of acid/alkaline producing foods. The acid/base balance issue has also been discussed several times on PaleoHacks (see here, here and here).
To your ideas for fighting osteoporosis and mineral depletion, I would add supplementation with vitamins D3 and K2, as well as exercise (weight-bearing and resistance).