Potassium salts found to lower risk of osteoporosis

Strong bones are essential to a long and healthy life. There are several ways to maintain healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis as people age. However, a new study performed by the University of Surrey in England found that potassium salts have the potential to drastically lower one's risk of developing osteoporosis. 

Potassium salts reduce bone resorption
Researchers found that potassium salts in fruits and vegetables are vital to enhancing bone health. The study's findings, published in the scientific journal Orthopedic International, were significant, as they revealed for the first time that these salts not only assist in strengthening bones, but they also reduce bone resorption, which is the process in which bones are broken down, most commonly during old age. 

The research included the examination of 14 studies focusing on how alkaline potassium salts impact bone health and calcium metabolism. The effects were determined by a systematic literature search and were then assessed with a random-effects model.

Results showed that the supplementations with alkaline potassium salts led to drastically lower acid and renal calcium excretion. The reduction of these excretions is similar to the concept of increased buffering of hydrogen ions by raised circulating bicarbonate. This decrease in bone resorption highly suggests a potential advantage in bone health. 

Lead author of the study, Dr. Helen Lambert from the University of Surrey, pointed out that the results mean that potassium salts neutralize excess acids so that bone material is then preserved. This would have significant advantages for older adults whose bones are vulnerable to the wear and tear associated with the aging process. 

"Excess acid in the body, produced as a result of a typical Western diet high in animal and cereal protein, causes bones to weaken and fracture. Our study shows that these salts could prevent osteoporosis, as our results showed a decrease in bone resorption," said Lambert. 

It is true that bone formation and absorption is a necessary process to ensure proper bone growth and enable the bones to heal when impacted by osteoporosis. However, during the onset of the condition, the balance is shifted so that more bone is broken down than is built up. This ultimately leads to fragility and fractures. This study proves that the consumption of fruits and vegetables could keep this balance even to improve the strength of our bones and prevent osteoporosis.

How else can we maintain healthy bones?
In addition to eating foods high in potassium salts, there are other methods to maintaining bone health that people should do in order to avoid the development of osteoporosis. 

A diet should contain food that is high in calcium to ensure that bone loss and diminishment is not a potential risk, especially during the aging process. Calcium is one of the most popular minerals that comes to mind when bone strength is mentioned because its success in enhancing bone health is one that has been tested and confirmed by many experts for decades. Milk, spinach and cheese, for example, are known to decrease risk of bone fractures. 

Physically active patients are more likely to avoid the development of osteoporosis. Studies have shown that those who exercise frequently have a much higher bone density than those who are inactive. Even light workouts a few times a week can have benefits for bone health. Aerobic exercises, such as running, swimming, skiing and jump roping, have been proven to improve bone density and reduce the breakdown of bones. 

Heavy drinking interferes with vitamin D's ability to strengthen bones and will eventually cause bone loss. Similarly, smoking makes it extremely challenging for the body to absorb the calcium it needs to stay strong. Therefore, ditching these bad habits is also highly recommended.