Potassium supplements help preserve bone density

November 24, 2006 in Nutrition for Older Adults, Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements, Women's Health

Potassium supplements help preserve bone density

Some research has suggested that a high acidity of the modern diet may be a contributing factor to weak bones in women as they age.

Based on a recent study, Swiss researchers from the University of Basel suggest that potassium citrate supplements can neutralize the acidity, and possibly prevent crippling osteoporosis.

Researchers recruited 161 postmenopausal women to participate in the study. About half of the women took daily potassium citrate supplements, which provide a small amount of base (alkali, the opposite of acid). The others got potassium chloride supplements, which provide the same amount of potassium, but without base.

At the end of the year long study period, researchers found a significant difference between the two groups. Women taking the base supplement had a 1-per-cent increase in their bone mineral density. However, the women taking the non-base supplement had a 1-per-cent decline in their bone density.

Despite the encouraging results, researchers warn that it is too early to recommend widespread use of the supplements.

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