Gender-specific association between dietary acid load and total lean body mass and its dependency on protein intake in seniors
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Diet-related mild metabolic acidosis may play a role in the development of sarcopenia. We investigated the relationship between dietary acid load and total lean body mass in male and female seniors age ≥ 60 years. We found that a more alkaline diet was associated with a higher %TLM only among senior women.
The aim of this study was to determine if dietary acid load is associated with total lean body mass in male and female seniors age ≥ 60 years.
We investigated 243 seniors (mean age 70.3 ± 6.3; 53% women) age ≥ 60 years who participated in the baseline assessment of a clinical trial on vitamin D treatment and rehabilitation after unilateral knee replacement due to severe knee osteoarthritis. The potential renal acid load (PRAL) was assessed based on individual nutrient intakes derived from a food frequency questionnaire. Body composition including percentage of total lean body mass (%TLM) was determined using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Cross-sectional analyses were performed for men and women separately using multivariable regression models controlling for age, physical activity, smoking status, protein intake (g/kg BW per day), energy intake (kcal), and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration. We included a pre-defined subgroup analysis by protein intake (< 1 g/kg BW day, > 1 g/kg BW day) and by age group (< 70 years, ≥ 70 years).
Adjusted %TLM decreased significantly across PRAL quartiles only among women (P trend = 0.004). Moreover, in subgroup analysis, the negative association between the PRAL and %TLM was most pronounced among women with low protein intake (< 1 g/kg BW per day) and age below 70 years (P = 0.002). Among men, there was no association between the PRAL and %TLM.
The association between dietary acid load and %TLM seems to be gender-specific, with a negative impact on total lean mass only among senior women. Therefore, an alkaline diet may be beneficial for preserving total lean mass in senior women, especially in those with low protein intake.
KeywordsLean body mass Mild metabolic acidosis Potential renal acid load Protein Sarcopenia
This project was funded by a Swiss National Foundation Professorship (Swiss National Foundations Professorship Grant PP00B-114864) and the Baugarten Foundation Centre Grant.
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Conflict of interest
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