A higher alkaline dietary load is associated with greater indexes of skeletal muscle mass in women

Ailsa Welch, Alexander Macgregor, Joanna Skinner, Aedin Cassidy, T.D. Spector, A. Moayyeri

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Conservation of muscle mass is important for fall and fracture prevention but further understanding of the causes of age-related muscle loss is required. This study found a more alkaline diet was positively associated with muscle mass in women suggesting a role for dietary acid-base load in muscle loss. Introduction: Conservation of skeletal muscle is important for preventing falls and fractures but age-related loss of muscle mass occurs even in healthy individuals. However, the mild metabolic acidosis associated with an acidogenic dietary acid-base load could influence loss of muscle mass. Methods: We investigated the association between fat-free mass (FFM), percentage FFM (FFM%) and fat-free mass index (FFMI, weight/height), measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in 2,689 women aged 18-79 years from the TwinsUK Study, and dietary acid-base load. Body composition was calculated according to quartile of potential renal acid load and adjusted for age, physical activity, misreporting and smoking habit (FFM, FFMI also for fat mass) and additionally with percentage protein. Results: Fat-free mass was positively associated with a more alkalinogenic dietary load (comparing quartile 1 vs 4: FFM 0.79 kg P <0.001, FFM% 1.06 %
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1899-1908
Number of pages10
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number6
Early online date14 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


  • Diet acid-base Load
  • Fat-free mass
  • Muscle
  • Potential renal acid load (PRAL)
  • Sarcopenia

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