Preventing Loss of Muscles and Bones as You Age.txt
Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health e-Zine
January 27, 2013

Preventing Loss of Muscles and Bones as You Age

          Your bones and muscles are strongest at ages 20 to 30.  
After that, bones and muscles usually grow smaller and weaker.  
Several recent studies show that diet and exercise can slow down, 
and even prevent, this loss of bone and muscle strength. The 
International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) Nutrition Working 
Group has just published a list of recommendations to help 
prevent osteoporosis and muscle weakness associated with aging 
(Osteoporosis International, January 18, 2013).
   
DIET AND EXERCISE: 
* Eat very large amounts of vegetables and fruits.  These foods 
help bones and muscles retain calcium and strength.

* Restrict meat, grains and grain products such as pastas and 
bread.  These foods take calcium out of, and weaken, bones and 
muscles.

* Lift weights daily

* Keep blood levels of hydroxy vitamin D above 75 nmol/L

* Make sure that you are not lacking in vitamins B12 or folic 
acid; deficiencies can markedly weaken muscles. 

ACID-RESIDUE AND ALKALINE-RESIDUE FOODS:  The food that you 
eat is broken down to produce the energy you need to power your 
body.  Certain foods, such as those rich in protein and grains, 
are called acidic-residue because they break down and leave extra 
hydrogen ions in your body.  Your body responds to this extra 
hydrogen by neutralizing it with calcium released from bones and 
other tissues.  Bones are weakened by acidic-residue foods that 
cause calcium to be withdrawn from bones to be lost in the urine.
 
Other foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are called 
alkaline-residue because they add bicarbonate ions in place of 
adding extra hydrogen ions.  Bones respond to this alkaline 
residue by taking up calcium and usually becoming stronger. 

HOW ACIDIC-RESIDUE FOODS CAUSE LOSS OF MUSCLES AND BONES: 
Your bones are constantly remodeling by adding and losing calcium.  
Special cells called osteoclasts constantly take calcium out of 
bone, while other cells called osteoblasts constantly bring 
calcium in.  Anything that increases calcium entry into bones 
usually strengthens bones. Anything that increases calcium loss 
from bones usually weakens bones.
 
ACID-RESIDUE, NOT ACID FOOD: The acidity of a food that you 
eat has little to do with the residue it leaves in your body. For 
example, a grapefruit is a very acidic fruit.  However, it breaks 
down in your body to form alkaline residues.

FOODS DO NOT CHANGE THE ACIDITY OF YOUR BODY OR BLOOD
When a food leaves extra acid in your body, your body responds by 
neutralizing the acid with calcium and potassium; the acidity of 
your body does not change. 

ALKALINE PILLS STRENGTHEN BONES AND MUSCLES:  Giving extra 
alkali in pills, or consuming lots of fruits and vegetables, 
strengthens bones.  In one study of 171 men and women aged 50 and 
older, those given an alkali, bicarbonate, for three months, lost 
less calcium in their urine and strengthened their bones by 
increasing the amount of calcium in them (Journal of Clinical 
Endocrinology & Metabolism, January 2009). 

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES PREVENT LOSS OF MUSCLE WITH AGING.   
SO DO POTASSIUM PILLS:  Researchers can tell which people eat a 
high fruit and vegetable diet by how much potassium comes out in 
their urine.  Those whose diets were loaded with fruits and 
vegetables have urine rich in potassium and stronger bones.  They 
gained 3.6 more pounds of muscle over four years than those with 
half the potassium intake (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 
March, 2008).  Taking potassium citrate pills also strengthens 
bones (Am J Clin Nutr 2008;88:465-474).

SHOW JUDGEMENT IN YOUR FRUIT AND VEGETABLE DIET: Don't eat 
fruit all day long. The sugar in fruit is converted to 
triglycerides which can elevate blood triglyceride levels.  Most 
research shows that eating lots of fruits helps to prevent 
diabetes, but huge amounts of fruits can raise blood triglycerides 
and cause weight gain. 

LOSS OF MUSCLE LEADS TO DIABETES: A review OF 14,528 case 
studies shows that loss of muscle is associated with insulin 
resistance, high blood sugar levels and diabetes.  The greater the 
loss of muscle size, the more likely a person is to become 
diabetic.  You prevent diabetes by both losing fat: which blocks 
insulin receptors, and by growing muscle: which helps clear sugar 
from your bloodstream (PLoS ONE, June 2010).