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Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):662-5.

Alkaline diets favor lean tissue mass in older adults.

Author information

  • 1Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Maintaining muscle mass while aging is important to prevent falls and fractures. Metabolic acidosis promotes muscle wasting, and the net acid load from diets that are rich in net acid-producing protein and cereal grains relative to their content of net alkali-producing fruit and vegetables may therefore contribute to a reduction in lean tissue mass in older adults.

OBJECTIVE:

We aimed to determine whether there was an association of 24-h urinary potassium and an index of fruit and vegetable content of the diet with the percentage lean body mass (%LBM) or change in %LBM in older subjects.

DESIGN:

Subjects were 384 men and women > or =65 y old who participated in a 3-y trial comparing calcium and vitamin D with placebo. Potassium was measured in 24-h urine collections at baseline. The %LBM, defined as total body nonfat, nonbone tissue weight/weight x 100, was measured by using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at baseline and at 3 y. Physical activity, height, and weight were assessed at baseline and at 3 y.

RESULTS:

At baseline, the mean urinary potassium excretion was 67.0 +/- 21.1 mmol/d. Urinary potassium (mmol/d) was significantly positively associated with %LBM at baseline (beta = 0.033, P = 0.006; adjusted for sex, weight, and nitrogen excretion) but not with 3-y change in %LBM. Over the 3-y study, %LBM increased by 2.6 +/- 3.6%.

CONCLUSION:

Higher intake of foods rich in potassium, such as fruit and vegetables, may favor the preservation of muscle mass in older men and women.

PMID:
18326605
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2597402
Free PMC Article
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