(NaturalNews) While mainstream medicine continues to push a host of side-effect laden drugs to supposedly keep bones strong, there may be a much safer solution to help ward off osteoporosis -- making sure you consume supplements and/or foods containing potassium citrate, vitamin D and calcium.
A team of researchers headed by Professor Reto Krapf of the University of Basel conducted a randomized double blind, placebo controlled study of 201 men and women, all over the age of 65. The scientists wanted to assess if potassium citrate had an effect on bones because of its ability to neutralize the acid load imposed by the typical modern western diet. The research subjects received either a supplement of potassium citrate or a placebo in addition to calcium and vitamin D supplements. The results showed that those who received potassium citrate in addition to calcium and vitamin D had significantly stronger bones with better mineral density and strength in many areas of the skeleton, including the lumbar spine.
In the new study, just out in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Krapf and his fellow researchers concluded that future fractures might well be reduced by consuming potassium citrate. "Potassium citrate administered in a background of vitamin D and calcium supplements is well tolerated and constitutes an inexpensive intervention to increase bone [mineral density] ... and to improve bone microarchitecture in healthy elderly people with normal bone mass," the researchers stated.
Dr. Gerhard Gerstner, business development manager for health and nutrition at Swiss-based Jungbunzlauer, the company that provided the potassium citrate supplement used in the study, noted that while doctors have long known that potassium has an important impact on blood pressure, the new research shows that potassium in the citrate form also benefits bone health.
Gerstner added many fruits and vegetables naturally have high mineral citrate content (including potassium citrate). Raw foods are generally richer in potassium citrate. Good choices for adding this mineral to your diet include: bananas, oranges and other citrus fruits, apricots, melons, and tomatoes.
Another recent study - this one published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research by researchers at Johns Hopkins University- also concluded that potassium citrate "has the potential to improve skeletal health." The scientists noted that the dietary acid load created by the typical Western diet may adversely impact the skeleton by disrupting calcium metabolism. Their findings showed potassium citrate appeared to neutralize excess acid in the body and improved calcium balance.
About the author: Sherry Baker is a widely published writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Health, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Yoga Journal, Optometry, Atlanta, Arthritis Today, Natural Healing Newsletter, OMNI, UCLA''''s "Healthy Years" newsletter, Mount Sinai School of Medicine''''s "Focus on Health Aging" newsletter, the Cleveland Clinic''''s "Men''''s Health Advisor" newsletter and many others.