Our acidic diet high in salt is contributing to bone loss, muscle wasting, kidney stones, high blood pressure and stroke

February 07, 2008

Our typical American diet supplies a lot more salt than we need and a lot less potassium than we need. We also eat a great deal more food that is converted to acids rather than (alkaline) organic-bases. The net result is an increase in the acidity of our body fluids.
As we age our kidneys have increasingly less ability to excrete this daily load of excess acid. To offset the acidity the body must pull minerals out of our bones and muscles on a daily basis; these minerals buffer the body’s fluids making them more alkaline and reducing the degree of metabolic acidosis. The result of pulling the minerals out of the bones and muscles is a loss of bone calcium and an increase in calcium in the urine. The overall effect of the acidosis leads to osteoporosis and kidney stones, loss of muscle, and renal insufficiency that is related to age (a decreased ability to rid the body of wastes).
The reversed ratio of increased salt intake to decreased potassium in our diet compared to preagricultural diets affects cardiovascular function and leads to high blood pressure and stroke. To restore the balance towards modest alkalosis and a high potassium-to-salt ratio we would have to reverse the way we eat;
- reduce the amount of acid- producing cereal grains we eat (pasta, bread, cereal)
- reduce the amount of high-calorie, nutrient –poor foods high in fat and carbohydrate
- greatly reducing our salt intake
- increasing the amount of potassium-rich fruits and vegetables we consume
This information is derived from the Second International Acid-Base Symposium, Nutrition-Health-Disease reported by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco. The report is published in the February 2008 issue of The Journal of Nutrition.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid slows down Alzheimer’s disease

Free radical damage and a loss of energy in the cells of the brain are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Therefore it is conceivable that Alpha-Lipoic-Acid, a nutrients that improves brain energy while also acting as a powerful antioxidant may potentially delay developing AD and treats it by slowing it down if a person did develop it.
To test their theory, the scientists and health-professionals at the Department of Medical Rehabilitation and Geriatrics, Henriettenstiftung*, Hanover, Germany, treated 9 patients with AD (who were receiving the standard drug treatment with acetylcholine-esterase inhibiting drugs) with 600mg of ALA daily for 12-months.The addition of ALA led to a stabilization of cognitive functions in the AD patients as measured by various tests.
In this new report the researchers extended the treatment to 43 patients over a 2-year period. In the patients with mild AD the disease progressed very slowly in the first year with the addition of ALA but did not help dramatically in patients with moderate disease. Also, compared to patients who were not treated, or patients on drug treatment only in other long-term studies, the rate of progression was dramatically lower in the second year of the study. The study is published in the Journal of Neural Transmission, Supplementum, 2007;(72).
* Henriettenstiftung was founded in Hanover, Germany as a charitable foundation in 1860. It currently treats about 22,000 admitted patients and 23,000 outpatients each year in its 15 clinics and its hospital. Caring for the elderly is a major part of the foundations mission.