Alkalizing the Body Can Help Maintain Muscle Mass
Muscle mass is a major predictor of quality of life, particularly as we age, and aging muscle loss begins quite early in life. From the age of 30, we lose as much as 3 percent to 8 percent of muscle per decade. Most of those living the Western lifestyle will lose at least 30 percent to 40 percent or more of their muscle mass during their lifetime.
Less muscle equals less functional capacity, a greater chance of injury from falling and potentially life-limiting frailty. Less muscle also means less energy production because muscles are a major site of energy production for the entire body. Also, muscles contain most of our body’s insulin receptors, which are needed to maintain optimal blood sugar levels. It’s easy to see why anyone planning to live a long, active life would do well to pay attention to building and maintaining muscle mass over the years.
As early as 1997, noted scientist Dr. Lynda Frassetto documented that alkalizing the diet through mineral supplementation provided for the recovery of lost muscle mass and the prevention of further excessive loss in aging individuals. The past 25 years have witnessed a growing appreciation for the muscle-preserving power of the alkaline diet. Recently, a three-year study by Dr. Bess Dawson-Hughes, of Tufts University, found that a diet rich in high potassium foods such as fruits and vegetables reduced acid load and resulted in preservation of muscle mass in older men and women.
Dawson-Hughes has also conducted several laboratory studies documenting that supplementation with alkalizing forms of potassium such as potassium citrate or potassium bicarbonate, preserves muscle mass.
Potassium from foods is generally in the form of potassium citrate, which the body converts into bicarbonate, a strong alkalizing agent. This bicarbonate neutralizes acids and helps to preserve muscle mass. The goal, however, would not be to use high-dose potassium supplements, but rather to increase our intake of foods high in potassium. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for potassium is 4,700 milligrams (mg)/day, while most of us consume half of that. If we consumed the full 4,700 mg of potassium from our food, we would likely alkalize enough to preserve both muscle and bone.
Additionally, the correction of acidosis may preserve muscle mass in those suffering medical conditions associated with muscle wasting, such as diabetic ketosis, trauma, chronic obstructive lung disease, and kidney failure.
Here are the facts. Muscle mass is a major predictor of quality of life and longevity. Aging muscle loss begins around age 30 and accelerates after 50. Both men and women lose 30 to 40 percent or more of their muscle with age, and, with poor health, one loses even more. Aging muscle loss can lead to reduced functional capacity, fall injuries, frailty, and excess mortality. The high-mineral, whole-foods alkaline diet has been proven to reduce aging muscle loss. Key muscle-protective, alkalizing nutrients include magnesium, potassium, buffered ascorbate, the carotenoids, quercetin and many plant antioxidants. Also, at-home pH testing is simple and easy.