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Articles March 2010 Issue

Reducing Salt May Also Boost Bones

Cutting back on salt to fight high blood pressure may have a happy side effect: reducing calcium loss, thereby benefiting bone health and helping ward off osteoporosis. A new Australian study of 92 women, ages 45 to 75, with pre- or stage-1 hypertension found that those who reduced dietary sodium intake also reduced urinary calcium excretion. The 14-week trial put one group of women on a high-carbohydrate, low-fat regimen, while the others followed a diet similar to the low-sodium DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan. All the women got 800 milligrams of calcium per day. The DASH-like group’s diet was also designed to lower the body’s acidic levels, while the other diet was acid-promoting. While calling for further research, scientists concluded, “The fall in urinary calcium with the lower-sodium, lower-acid load diet is likely to have longterm beneficial effects on bone.”

TO LEARN MORE: British Journal of Nutrition, October 2009; abstract at dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114509371731

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