by Staff Writers
Friday, March 9, 2012
Osteoporosis and Salt Intake
Work with astronauts has established that salt retention is a plausible forcer of body acidity and the related loss of calcium. They are doing a study with bicarbonate of soda to see if the effect can be countered and even reversed that easily. Again plausibly, it may turn out that the proper outright cure for osteoporosis is in fact a daily dose of the soda.
I may be wrong on this, but if I recall correctly, excessive sugars in our diet also produces an acidic blood environment. Thus we have a clear path to counteracting the disease that is not yet proven out but leaves us with the important take home that we knew already and that is to lay off the sugars.
In fairness, these conclusions have been indicated in past efforts, but here we are shown the smoking gun and the room for doubt is strongly eliminated. The confirmation studies should work through fine and in the meantime, the indicated protocol is easily accepted anyway.
Add Salt? Astronauts' Bones Say Please Don't
by Staff Writers
Osteoporosis is a harsh disease that reduces the quality of life for millions and costs
around 25 billion euros ($31 billion) each year. It typically affects the
elderly, so the rise in life expectancy in developed countries means the
problems inflicted by osteoporosis are increasing.
Fortunately, research done in space may change the game. Astronauts on the International Space Station experience accelerated osteoporosis because of weightlessness, but it is carefully controlled, and they can regain their lost bone mass once they are back on Earth.
Studying what happens during long space flights offers a good insight into the process of osteoporosis - losing calcium and changing bone structure - and helps to develop methods to combat it.
It has been known since the 1990s that the human body holds on to sodium, without the corresponding water retention, during long stays in space. But the textbooks said this was not possible. "Sodium retention in space" became an important subject to study.
Salt intake was investigated in a series of studies, in ground-based simulations and in space, and it was found that not only is sodium retained (probably in the skin), but it also affects the acid balance of the body and bone metabolism. So, high salt intake increases acidity in the body, which can accelerate bone loss.
The European Space Agency's, or ESA's, recent SOdium LOad in microgravity, or SOLO, study zoomed in on this question. Nine crew members, including ESA's Frank De Winne and Paolo Nespoli during their long-duration flights in 2010 and 2011, followed low - and high-salt diets.
The expected results may show that additional negative effects can be avoided either by reducing sodium intake or by using a simple alkalizing agent like bicarbonate to counter the acid imbalance.
This space research directly benefits everybody on Earth who is prone toosteoporosis.
Source: German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Space Physiology. Institute of Aerospace Medicine