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08-10-2008 | Bone health | Article

Alkaline water reduces bone resorption



MedWire News: Alkaline mineral water significantly reduces bone resorption, report scientists who recommend further study to assess the potential of increased alkaline water intake to reduce risk for osteoporosis.

Short-term trials or investigations of individuals with calcium or estrogen deficiencies have suggested that calcium ingested by drinking mineral water may reduce bone resorption, say Emma Wynn (Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland) and colleagues.

Small-scale trials in healthy individuals have also suggested that mineral water rich in bicarbonates can reduce calcium excretion and bone resorption.

To investigate, Wynn and team randomly assigned 30 women, aged 26.3 years on average, to consume similar diets including either 1.5 l/day of acidic, calcium-rich water or 1.5 l/day of alkaline, bicarbonate-rich water.

Of note, the current study compensated for the limitations of previous research by recruiting only premenopausal and calcium sufficient women.

The authors report that levels of bone turnover markers were similar in all women at the start of the study. After 4 weeks of drinking calcium-rich water, however, serum concentrations of the bone-resorption markers parathyroid hormone and C-telopeptide had decreased significantly more in those drinking alkaline water than in those drinking acidic water.

“This finding was surprising since total calcium, as well as ionized calcium concentrations remained stable in all individuals,” comment the investigators in the journal Bone.

The authors say that their results are limited because the trial involved relatively few participants and so may lack statistical power, but add that the study is strengthened by the fact that all participants ate the same diet.

“In conclusion, the present study showed that a bicarbonate- and calcium-rich alkali mineral water decreased bone resorption more than a calcium-rich acidic mineral water, in healthy premenopausal subjects on a calcium-sufficient balanced diet,” the authors summarize.

“Further investigations need to be undertaken to study whether these positive effects are maintained in the long-term and if they can influence bone mineral density,” they add.

By Philip Ford

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