Osteoporosis : A Progressive Bone Disease

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Part 1: Introduction Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease that is characterized by structural deterioration of bone tissue and reduced bone mineral density(BMD). Consequences include increased pain, increased risk of fracture, loss of mobility, and death (Osteoporosis Canada 2014). Of late, there has been renewed interest in the influence of acid-base balance on bone metabolism and the development of osteoporosis. The acid-ash hypothesis suggests that diets that are high in "acid-ash"(i.e. acid-forming) components(including dietary protein, phosphorus, and chlorine) and low in base-forming components(including fruits and vegetables, potassium, and calcium) generate acidic byproducts. To neutralize excess acid and prevent systemic acidosis, bone mineral is dissolved, bicarbonate is released, and calcium is expelled in urine, accelerating the development of osteoporosis. The "alkaline diet" encourages the consumption of base-forming foods and has been promoted as an effective method of reducing the risk of osteoporosis (WebMD 2013). In a 2003 paper, Maurer and others tested the effects of neutralization of endogenous acid production by bicarbonate ingestion on calcium balance, bone markers, and endocrine systems. An increase in calcium retention and a decrease in bone resorption followed neutralization of dietary acid load. Consequently, the trial provided evidence for the acid-ash hypothesis and the alkaline diet (reduced risk of osteoporosis). Alternatively,
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