The study, published in the journal Osteoporosis International, also revealed that high intake of potassium salts significantly reduces the excretion of calcium and acid in urine.
“This means that excess acid is neutralised and bone mineral is preserved,” said lead author Dr Helen Lambert from the University of Surrey.
“Excess acid in the body, produced as a result of a typical Western diet high in animal and cereal protein, causes bones to weaken and fracture. Our study shows that these salts could prevent osteoporosis, as our results showed a decrease in bone resorption.”
Although bone resorption and bone formation is a natural process, allowing bones to grow, heal and adapt, in osteoporosis, the balance is shifted so that more bone is broken down than is built up, leading to fragility and fractures.
The debilitating disease affects almost three million people in the UK. One in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will break a bone because of poor bone health.
This study shows that eating more fruits and vegetables could be a way to improve the strength of our bones and prevent osteoporosis.
Source: University of Surrey
Full bibliographic information:
The effect of supplementation with alkaline potassium salts on bone metabolism: a meta-analysis - OSIN-D-14-00363R1
Helen Lambert, Lynda Frassetto, J. Bernadette Moore, David Torgerson, Richard Gannon , Peter Burckhardt and Susan Lanham-New Osteoporosis International