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Diabetologia. 2014 Aug;57(8):1561-8. doi: 10.1007/s00125-014-3275-z. Epub 2014 May 31.

Dietary acid load, insulin sensitivity and risk of type 2 diabetes in community-dwelling older men.

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Divisions of Renal Medicine and Baxter Novum, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska University Hospital K56, Karolinska Institutet, 14186, Stockholm, Sweden.



We tested the hypothesis that dietary acid load may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, and studied the association between acid load and insulin sensitivity as a possible mechanism involved.


An observational survey with prospective follow-up including 911 non-diabetic Swedish men aged 70-71 years was carried out. The gold standard euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamp technique and the OGTT were used to determine insulin sensitivity and beta cell function, respectively. Diabetes incidence was assessed during 18 years of follow-up. Renal function was estimated from serum cystatin C concentrations. Dietary acid load was calculated as potential renal acid load (PRAL) and net endogenous acid production (NEAP) algorithms from 7 day food records. Adequate dietary reporters were identified by Goldberg cut-offs.


PRAL and NEAP were not associated with insulin sensitivity or beta cell function. Underlying kidney function or consideration of dietary adequate reporters did not modify these null findings. During follow-up, 115 new cases of diabetes were validated. Neither PRAL nor NEAP was associated with diabetes incidence.


Our results do not support the hypothesis that dietary acid load influences insulin sensitivity, beta cell function or diabetes risk. Interventional studies modifying acid-base dietary intake are needed to further elucidate a possible role of acid load in the development of type 2 diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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