Alkaline minerals, blood pH and osteoporosis

In people 40 or younger, the body produces sodium bicarbonate as a buffer to correct a blood pH that is too acidic. However, after the age of 40, this buffering capacity declines rather dramatically.

In order to compensate for this decline in pH buffering capacity, the body will mobilize the alkaline minerals calcium and magnesium from the bones in order to raise the pH of the blood if it’s too acidic and thereby ensure that it stays within a very narrow range -- between 7.35 and 7.45.

It is this process of bone demineralization caused by a blood pH that is too acidic that contributes to osteoporosis and osteopenia in older men and women. The cause of a blood pH that is too acidic is diet. The standard American diet contains a very high a level of meat, fish, cheese, eggs, grains, nuts and legumes, which while nutritious, are nonetheless highly acidic. In order to avoid bone demineralization, these acid forming foods need to be buffered by potassium rich foods like fruits and vegetables, which comprise a relatively small portion of the American diet.

One way to determine if one’s diet is too acidic is by testing the pH of one’s urine or saliva. You can buy diagnostic test strips for that purpose.

If your pH tests below 7 to 7.25, it’s an indication that you’re consuming too many acid-forming foods and not enough alkaline-forming foods and potentially causing a gradual depletion of bone mineral. I’ve done this test myself, and discovered that it’s next to impossible to maintain a sufficiently alkaline pH without eliminating or severely curtailing the acid forming foods and dramatically increasing one's intake of fruits and vegetables. But I found another way to boost my body’s pH to the desired level, and that is by taking a supplement of potassium bicarbonate. If I take the potassium bicarbonate along with my meals, I don’t have to worry about including a lot of fruits and vegetables and eliminating or reducing some of my favorite foods, like whole grains, beans, meat and fish.

Below are three articles from peer-reviewed medical journals documenting the benefits of potassium bicarbonate as protection against osteopenia and osteoporosis.

If you decide to take potassium bicarbonate, you can purchase it from the following company:,629 -- 1-800-543-3873.

The product is called "Potassium Basics." As far as I know, Life Enhancement is the only company that sells potassium bicarbonate in capsule form, which makes it easy to take. It is also relatively inexpensive. You can buy it in powder form, but its very unpalatable to take it that way. You’re better off with the capsules. I take 6 capsules a day in three divided doses -- 2 with each meal -- for a total of 3,159 mg. I've discovered that I need this much every day in order to keep my pH in the desired range.

According to the studies that I've included here, people who have taken the potassium bicarbonate have achieved dramatic improvement in bone mineral density within just a couple of years.

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A linked study from the first one

shows that the pottasium had no effect and sodium bicarbonate was just as effective. So save your money and eat baking soda perhaps?

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I am 42 yrs old don't eat any fruit and veg I try but I dont like them now I started puting some fruit in a liquidizer twice a week approx .

this could be the reason why I have very bad bone density I need to find some time and try this stuff .


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The minerals studied were potassium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and potassium chloride. Although the abstract states that "potassium" had no effect, the implied reference is to potassium chloride: "Subjects taking bicarbonate [both sodium and potassium bicarbonate) had significant reductions in urinary N-telopeptide and calcium excretion, when compared with subjects taking no bicarbonate [e.g., potassium chloride]." You could certainly take sodium bicarbonate if you wanted, but it isn't the most palatable way to consume bicarbonate. Also, people typically get too much sodium relative to potassium anyway. If you're going to take a bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate is probably the better choice.

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I have been using pHion strips - urine generally tests @ 6.0-6.75. However, plain water tests @ 6.0 (should be 7.0) - very suspicious - anyone else use these strips?

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I remember dr. lark in her newsletter having some sort of combo pill. I'm not sure just baking soda would not do it., but here is one source of the combo. There are all those alkaline waters, too. nate-99-mg-100-caps.html

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Many years ago when I had severe cystitis on holiday I was told by an English doctor that the best way of combating it in it's early stages was sodium bicarb in water. Have always travelled with some since. It neutralises the acids which can cause cystitis. I sometimes use it as a paste instead of toothpaste too as a tooth whitener.
Will be interested to see follow up answers re using this.

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Sylvieann - Sodium bicabonate (baking soda) is frequently used by those suffering with interstitial cystitis ( a disease of unknown etiology, usually not caused by infection, though it obviously helps that, too) but potassium is irritating to those same people who often get diagnosed by the placing of potassium in the bladder which hurts them but not those with normal bladders.
Lately, doctors, have kindly eliminated this as a diagnostic tool but go on symptoms instead. I know what I got and I refused that test. I don't know if potassium bicarbonate would bother me.

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Hi Pauleis

When you say that you have tested the pH of plain water, do you mean tap water? The reason I ask is that in the UK the water pH varies according to the area you live in. It all depends on the type of rock/earth that the water has passed through.

I live in a 'hard' water area and the pH is between 7.2 to 7.4 When we stayed in the Highlands of Scotland where the ground is very peaty, I was shocked to find that the pH of the tap water was only 5.5. so very acidic and described as being 'soft'

I wrote to my water supplier who was actually able to tell me what the calcium content of the water was. I needed to know whether I could use it for mixing my Strontium ranelate into it. It may be worth you sending an email to your supplier and ask what they expect the pH it be.

I have used a couple of brands of pH papers in the past and on the whole they seemed quite sensitive and gave a fairly clear result. One had a Simplex label, the other was called Energise.

I am not so happy with my present ones. Like the others they have 2 colored patches on them which should compare with the chart. In fact I find that the top square may give a reading of say 7.0 but the bottom square would match to a reading of 6.75 or even 6.5 These have a label of pH Health on the box and were on offer from the internet in boxes of 3 X 100 pieces. The picture on the internet looked the same as the others I had bought and I assumed they were cheaper because I was buying 3 boxes. I certainly won't get these again.

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Hi LynH,

Thanks for your response. Yes, I used tap water, but it is snow melt & minimally processed. Just to be sure, I will check the strips on distilled water. If I get the same results, I will probably check other brands (not connected with selling an "Alkaline" lifestyle).

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Hi LynH,

Just tested the strips with distilled water & again had reading of 6.0. However, the following is from the pHion website:

Q. Do these strips work with water or any other foods or chemicals?

These strips do NOT test against water or chemicals. They need to be tested against high ionized solutions. Water is not a high ionized solution and other chemicals may dilute the strip to be unreadable.

I'm still suspicious, but if I proceed, it will be with a different strip (hopefully, one which can be tested against water). I'll keep you informed.

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