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Osteoporos Int. 2010 Jul;21(7):1171-9. doi: 10.1007/s00198-009-1049-0. Epub 2009 Sep 1.

Impact of supplementation with bicarbonate on lower-extremity muscle performance in older men and women.

Author information

1
Jean Mayer United States Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA. Bess.Dawson-Hughes@Tufts.edu

Abstract

This study describes the impact of bicarbonate treatment for 3 months on net acid excretion (NAE), nitrogen excretion, and muscle performance in older men and women. Bicarbonate reduced NAE, and the decrement was associated with a decrease in nitrogen excretion. Treatment also improved muscle power and endurance in the women.

INTRODUCTION:

Bicarbonate enhances muscle performance during strenuous exercise, but its effect on performance during normal activity in older subjects is unknown.

METHODS:

In this trial, healthy subjects age 50 and older were randomized to 67.5 mmol of bicarbonate or to no bicarbonate daily for 3 months. Changes in lower-extremity muscle power, endurance, urinary nitrogen, and NAE were compared across treatment groups in the 162 participants included in the analyses.

RESULTS:

In the men and the women, bicarbonate was well tolerated, and as expected, it significantly decreased NAE. The change in NAE correlated with change in nitrogen excretion in women (r = 0.32, P = 0.002) with a similar trend in men (r = 0.23, P = 0.052). In the women, bicarbonate increased double leg press power at 70% one repetition maximum by 13% (P = 0.003) compared with no bicarbonate and improved other performance measures. Treatment with bicarbonate had no significant effect on muscle performance in the men.

CONCLUSIONS:

Ingestion of bicarbonate decreased nitrogen excretion and improved muscle performance in healthy postmenopausal women. The bicarbonate-induced decline in NAE was associated with reduced nitrogen excretion in both men and women. These findings suggest that bicarbonate merits further evaluation as a safe, low-cost intervention that may attenuate age-related loss of muscle performance and mass in the elderly.

PMID:
19727904
PMCID:
PMC2888724
DOI:
10.1007/s00198-009-1049-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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