Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Acidity: The link between Atherosclerosis and Osteoporosis.

Although the prevalence of both atherosclerosis and osteoporosis increase with age, various and accumulating evidence indicate, since the initial studies (1, 2), a more direct relationship between these 2 conditions. Confirming this association, many recent studies have shown an increased carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), a marker for atherosclerosis, among women as they develop osteoporosis (3, 4).
A very recent study have reported that hip fracture is between two and five times more common in people with cardiovascular disease than in those with no history of the disease. The researchers from this study have found that bisphosphonates not only decrease the progression of osteoporosis, but also prevent the development of atherosclerosis and reduce total mortality rate (5).
Regarding this point it is interesting to note that bisphosphonates can reduce the elevated production of lactic acid in the body (6) what allow the acidity theory concept (7) to be a strong explanation for the link atherosclerosis/osteoporosis, taking in view the proposition from A. Wachman and D.S. Bernstein made in 1968 (8), and endorsed by others (9), that the body draws minerals from the bones to neutralize acid or alkaline challenges.
BTW, an editorial published at New England Journal of Medicine (Bone, Acid, and Osteoporosis, New England Journal of Medicine, V 330:1821-1822 , June 23, 1994) brings the following quote and comments:
"Life is a struggle, not against sin, not against the Money Power, not against malicious animal magnetism, but against hydrogen ions"1 Mencken H L. Exeunt omnes. Smart Set. 1919; 60: 138–145). These words, written by H.L. Mencken about the meaning of life and death, may also apply to the struggle of the healthy skeleton against the deleterious effects of retained acid.
Carlos Monteiro

1) Dent CE, Engelbrecht HE, Godfrey RC. Osteoporosis of lumbar vertebrae and calcification of abdominal aorta in women living in Durban. Br Med J. 1968;4:76-79.
2. Fujita T, Okamoto Y, Sakagami Y, Ota K, Ohata M. Bone changes and aortic calcification in aging inhabitants of mountain versus seacoast communities in the Kii Peninsula. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1984;32:124-128
3) J. Tamaki , M. Iki, Y. Hirano, Y. Sato, E. Kajita, S. Kagamimori, Y. Kagawa and H. Yoneshima. Low bone mass is associated with carotid atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women: The Japanese Population-based Osteoporosis (JPOS) Cohort Study , Osteoporosis International, V 20, N 1 / January, 2009
4) Hiroyuki Sumino, Shuichi Ichikawa, Shu Kasama, Takashi Takahashi, Hironosuke Sakamoto, Hisao Kumakura, Yoshiaki Takayama, Tsugiyasu Kanda, Masami Murakami and Masahiko Kurabayashi, Relationship between Carotid Atherosclerosis and Lumbar Spine Bone Mineral Density in Postmenopausal Women, Hypertension Research (2008) 31, 1191–1197;
5) Ulf Sennerby, Håkan Melhus, Rolf Gedeborg, Liisa Byberg, Hans Garmo, Anders Ahlbom, Nancy L. Pedersen, Karl Michaëlsson. Cardiovascular Diseases and Risk of Hip Fracture, JAMA. 2009;302(15):1666-1673.
6 Norman H. Bell and Ralph H. Johnson. Bisphosphonates in the treatment of osteoporosis, Endocrine, Volume 6, Number 2 / April, 1997.
7) Carlos ETB Monteiro, Acidic environment evoked by chronic stress: A novel mechanism to explain atherogenesis. Available from Infarct Combat Project, January 28, 2008 at http://www.infarctcombat.org/AcidityTheory.pdf
8) Wachman A, Bernstein DS. Diet and osteoporosis. Lancet. 1968;1:958–9.
9) Frances A. Tylavsky, Lisa A. Spence Laura Harkness. The Importance of Calcium, Potassium, and Acid-Base Homeostasis in Bone Health and Osteoporosis Prevention. J. Nutr. 138: 164S–165S, 2008 full free paper at http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/reprint/138/1/164S

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