Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #352573

Research Project: Nutrients, Aging, and Musculoskeletal Function

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Increasing alkali supplementation decreases urinary nitrogen excretion when adjusted for same day nitrogen intake

Author
item Ceglia, Lisa - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Dawson-hughes, Bess - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University

Submitted to: Osteoporosis International
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2017
Publication Date: 8/25/2017
Citation: Ceglia, L., Dawson-Hughes, B. 2017. Increasing alkali supplementation decreases urinary nitrogen excretion when adjusted for same day nitrogen intake. Osteoporosis International. 28(12):3355-3359. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00198-017-4196-8.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00198-017-4196-8

Interpretive Summary: We examined whether escalating doses of potassium bicarbonate [KHCO3] supplements alter urinary nitrogen excretion expressed as a ratio to same day nitrogen intake (measure of muscle-protein breakdown). The ratio declined significantly from placebo to low to high dose of KHCO3 supplementation in older adults over 3 months, suggesting a possible preservation of skeletal muscle mass with supplemental KHCO3.

Technical Abstract: Summary: We examined whether escalating doses of potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3) supplements alter urinary nitrogen excretion expressed as a ratio to same day nitrogen intake (measure of muscle-protein breakdown). The ratio declined significantly from placebo to low to high dose of KHCO3 supplementation in older adults over 3 months, suggesting muscle-sparing. Introduction: Neutralization of dietary acid load with alkali supplementation (i.e., KHCO3) has been hypothesized to have muscle protein-sparing effects. In controlled feeding studies with fixed nitrogen (N) intake/day, 24-h urinary N excretion is a good marker of muscle breakdown. However, in studies with self-selected diets, changes in 24-h urinary N excretion can be influenced by shifts in N intake. Methods: We evaluated changes in 24-h total urinary N excretion as a ratio of N excretion to concurrent N intake in 233 older men and women who participated in an 84-day KHCO3 supplementation randomized placebo-controlled trial. Results: After adjustment for relevant cofactors, escalating doses of KHCO3 (1 mmol/kg/day [low] or 1.5 mmol/kg/day [high]) resulted in a progressive decline in urinary N excretion/N intake compared to placebo (overall P for trend = 0.042). The 84-day change in urinary N excretion/N intake in the high-dose KHCO3 group was statistically significantly lower compared to placebo (P = 0.012) but not compared to the low-dose KHCO3 group (P=0.276). The 84-day change in urinary N excretion/N intake in the low-dose KHCO3 group did not differ significantly from placebo (P = 0.145). Conclusions: Urinary N excretion expressed as ratio to same day N intake declined steadily with increasing doses of KHCO3 supplementation from low 1 mmol/kg/day to high 1.5 mmol/kg/day, suggesting a nitrogen-sparing effect. Compared to urinary N excretion alone, this ratio could be a more reasonable measure of muscle protein metabolism in large-scale long-term human studies.