Does Too Much Sodium Cause Osteoporosis? - Save Our Bones

A University of Alberta researcher and his team have discovered a new link between sodium and calcium. Their goal was to decipher the reason why when too much sodium is present in the blood, it is excreted via the urine along with a proportionate amount of calcium. Since greater than normal sodium and calcium excretion can lead to kidney stones and osteoporosis, mainstream scientists have been searching for the molecules that regulate both.

As it turns out, this latest study has shown that the same molecules control both sodium absorption and regulate calcium. Unfortunately, the researchers seem to focus on the minutiae rather than looking at the big picture, and therefore, they flatly miss the point.

So while their observations may be true, as is usually the case, they fail to see the “missing link”. By the time you’ll finish reading this article, chances are you’ll know more about how sodium and calcium are linked than most mainstream health practitioners. I’ll explain.

According to lead researcher Todd Alexander:

“When the body tries to get rid of sodium via the urine, our findings suggest the body also gets rid of calcium at the same time… This is significant because we are eating more and more sodium in our diets, which means our bodies are getting rid of more and more calcium. Our findings reinforce why it is important to have a low-sodium diet and why it is important to have lower sodium levels in processed foods.” 1

Half-Truths Lead to Misinformation

While processed foods are loaded with sodium in the form of added table salt and chemicals to enhance flavor and improve texture, crucial information is missing.

Here’s what’s really going on, based on the studies of prolific pH balance researcher Lynda Frassetto and team, whom I mention in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program and in its Bibliography. She correctly explains that:

“A typical American diet contains amounts of sodium chloride far above evolutionary norms and potassium far below those norms… The inverted ratio of potassium to sodium in the diet compared with preagricultural diets affects cardiovascular function adversely and contributes to hypertension and stroke. The diet can return to its evolutionary norms of net base production inducing low-grade metabolic alkalosis and a high potassium-to-sodium ratio by 1) greatly reducing content of energy-dense nutrient-poor foods and potassium-poor acid-producing cereal grains, which would entail increasing consumption of potassium-rich net base-producing fruits and vegetables for maintenance of energy balance, and 2) greatly reducing sodium chloride consumption. Increasingly, evidence supports the health benefits of reestablishing evolutionary norms of dietary net base loads and high potassium and low sodium chloride loads.” 2

Paleo Anyone?

In essence, Dr. Frassetto correctly asserts that thanks to “modern” diets, sodium chloride (table salt) consumption greatly exceeds potassium consumption. This occurs because of insufficient fresh fruit and vegetable consumption, thus disproportionately inverting the sodium/potassium ratio necessary to achieve “metabolic alkalosis”. Instead, those who eat the “modern diets” are in a constant state of metabolic acidosis.

If you have the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, you know more about this topic than your doctor, since you have a good understanding of what causes valuable bone-supporting minerals to leach out of your bones and – ultimately – out of your body. And you also know which form of sodium is best for your bones.

Of course, the newest study completely disregards the important factors that make all the difference. Because even a low sodium diet (and especially when sodium is in the form of table salt), without the presence of potassium in the right proportion – alkalizing potassium present in fruit and vegetables – will cause health problems of a wide range, due to the acidifying effect of sodium chloride.

In Other Words…

A potassium-deficient diet, typical of these times, is one of the main reasons why most people are unknowingly living with systemic metabolic acidosis, which leads to bone loss, kidney stones and other health problems such as high blood pressure.

Fortunately, this is easy to correct. As I wrote in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, “Diet is the culprit, and diet is the solution.”

But mark my words, the new study will open the door to more research – funded by Big Pharma – to find out how the newly discovered “molecule” can be altered so that calcium will not be lost. Get ready for the next generation of osteoporosis drugs!

Meanwhile, and as explained by Dr. Frassetto and by me in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, the main solution is to maintain the desirable pH balance by eating foods in the proper combination.

Stay alkaline!


2 Frassetto LA, et al. “Adverse effects of sodium chloride in bone in the aging human population resulting from habitual consumption of typical American Diets.” J Nutr. 2008 Feb;138(2):419S-422S.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Edward Britton

    I heard that the alkaline diet does nothing but change the ph of your piss! because if your stomach is suppose to be very acidic and if there isn’t enough stomach acid you won’t digest your food properly and it ferments!

  2. del.roy.peterson……thanks.delroy

  3. Heather Colman

    What about Himalayan rock salt as an additive for the minerals in it, instead of standard table salt? Assuming of course that you are not eat heaps of processed food with table salt in it.

  4. Leslie (Ms. L.)

    Hi! Vivian,

    Can Potassium Chloride Really Be Used As A Substitute For Salt? Because I’ve Really Been Trying To Find A Good Tasting And Healthy Replacement For Salt! Please Give Me Your Opinion On This. And I Thank You VERY MUCH!


  5. iris falk

    If I am not getting the blood pressure information by mail in printed form for $19.98 I do not want it. Iris Falk

  6. George

    Dear Vivian,
    Thanks for writing the “Bone Health Revolution.” After reading it years
    ago, I’ve spread the information. Family members and others I’ve talked
    to no longer take Fosamax.
    The book stresses that we should avoid too much too much acid in our
    diet, that the United States has the most people with Osteoporosis and
    that we eat the most dairy products. So we should back off eating dairy
    products and get our calcium from the right foods and calcium pills, etc.

    So I purchased pH test strips. I’ve taken readings on urine samples from
    myself that run back and forth across the neutral pH7. The milk and ice
    cream samples that I measured run at about pH6.5. But, I and the family
    for the past thirty odd years have been drinking my reverse osmosis
    cleansed water that reads pH5.5. After this revalation I tested the pH on
    five different labels of reverse osmosis water and they each read pH5.5.
    A bottle of distilled water, with minerals added, also read pH5.5.
    Bottles labeled as Spring Water tested at pH7. The city water supplies
    from Pierre and Rapid City, SD tested at pH7.
    My solution, by test at home, is to add 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda (it
    completely desolves) to a gallon of my reverse osmosis water to get a pH7
    But what about the rest of the people that drink gallons of water testing
    at pH5.5?
    Or have I discovered something that doesn’t need fixing? Or is the baking
    soda unsuitable for long term usage? I would appreciate reading your
    and advice, etc. Thanks.

    • Lisa Qualls

      Saying we should not consume acid is a little misleading, isn’t it? It is my understanding that it depends on how we digest it. For instance, vinegar is an acid, but when we digest it, it lowers our body’s acid. Acidic fruits are very good for us and do not increase the acid in our bodies.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        That’s exactly the principle behind the alkalizing diet in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, Lisa! It’s not about how a food tastes; it’s about how it acts when it undergoes digestion. For example, lemons are acidic foods but they have an alkalizing effect in the body when digested. 🙂

  7. inell

    thanks for all the good information.The book is wonderful.JUST LEARNED THAT I HAVE PARATHYROID,NEED INFORMATION ON NATURAL THINGS I CAN DO.

  8. Nu Ly

    Before I didn’t know the difference between sea salt and table salt and I
    also din’t know ph balace in our diet. I learned from your Save Our bones
    program. I have been taking high bood presure pills since I was 70, I thought it might be my family history. Recently, my high bood presure is
    not steady, my systolic is 160-180 and my diastolic is 45-55, I feel
    uncomfortable and dizzy and go to see the doctor often. I got the download
    blood presure normalized program from my grandson. You give me the valuable knowledge and help, I am very appreciated your kindness.

  9. Delaine Macku


  10. susan capin

    I am a big fan of your research and have your book which I keep on my dining room table.
    I cannot adhere to the menus you suggest because I have a hiatal hernia and acid reflux. Therefore, I do not
    eat chilis, peppers, garlic, or onions. I hope you can recommend a menu that is properly balanced/ alkaline/
    acid that would conform to the foods that I can tolerate.
    Thanks for all of your work and knowledge.

    Susan Capin

  11. Kim Lawrence

    Hi Vivian,

    My doctor wants me to start taking injections of Prolia. What can you tell me about this drug?



  12. Shula

    Thank you. Shula

  13. Bob Wistort

    Why aren’t people like you promoting the use of potassium chloride as a salt substitute ?

  14. Marion

    Is alkaline water the same as distilled water?

  15. Linda

    I have acute Osteoporosis and have had 3 fractures in the last 2 years. I was briefly hospitalized at one point because ny Sodium Levels were LOW. I had never heard of too little sodium. I have never liked very much salt and love the taste of fruit and vegetables the way they are. I have now read that Low Sodium greatly contributes to Osteoporosis.
    Hard to know what to believe anymore.

  16. Aliza

    As always, Vivian, I read your comments with great interest. Thanks! I am puzzled on one count, however. I work with an acid/alkaline chart that was prepared by Dr. Russell Jaffe, which is entitled “Food & Chemical Effects on Acid/Alkaline Body Chemical Balance”. (It may be viewed online.) On this chart, table salt indeed appears on the far right column of “most acid” – that is, leaving the body more acid. However, sea salt and baking soda appear in the far left column of “most alkaline” – because of added minerals in the case of sea salt, I presume. So does the salt pickled umeboshi plum. Could you comment? Thanks!

  17. wanda

    Dr.V. Goldschmidt, thank you for sharing health information electronically. Even when I do not have the time to read, your articles are precise so that I can read it and learn something from it.
    Experience: I was diagnose with arthritis of the hip, however, prior to a scheduled hip operation, I went to Panama, Central America for two weeks. My diet changed. I ate their food which was salty, but all natural/may have been organic food and 3-5 fruits daily, but not much vegetables. My exercises consist of low pressure movements and stretches daily. The hip pain was gone and upon arriving at the States, I canceled the hip surgery.
    Question: In your book does it address arthritis and can help me further understand or follow a diet that can help keep the hip pain away and maybe repair the lost of cartilage?
    Thank you, Wanda

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Dear Wanda,

      It’s great that you were able to avoid the hip surgery! The Osteoporosis Reversal Program is specifically designed to improve bone health and reverse osteoporosis. However, many of the Foundation Supplements can also help re-build cartilage.

      And one more thing: I’m not a doctor 🙂

      Be well!

      • Robin Gray

        Just wanted to let you know that I was diagnosed with osteopenia two years ago. My doctor started talking about medications and that’s when I did some research and found your program. I have been following it pretty faithfully and am feeling the best I’ve ever felt. Just had a new bone density test and it came out NORMAL. Thank you so much for sharing your research with all of us so we can get healthy without the use of drugs!!!

  18. Kathie Berkin

    I would love Osteoporosis Reversal Programme book But all prices are in dollars and I do not know how much it would be in sterling.

    • Customer Support

      Dear Kathie,

      Thanks for your interest in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. You can use this easy currency converter to get the equivalent in sterling:

      If you need more information, you can contact Customer Support. We’re here to help 🙂

  19. Chitralekha Shalom

    Vivian – Thank you. I have been reading your mails and gaining good knowledge. Some of them, like this one about potassium, repeats what my mother and grandmother insisted I follow.
    Thanks again and look forward to more from you.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re very welcome!

  20. Jennie

    We need salt, not sodium, himalayan, celtic proper sea salts are all good for us and contain magnesium, potassium and other necessary minerals which the body needs. The commercial “salt” is adulterated and extremely bad for us, which I think is the stuff added to all ready to eat foods.

    • Rowland Fujii

      I have been taking Whey Protein sold by Jillian Michaels.
      This is one that has no artificial sweeteners. Because it comes from Milk. is this very bad for your bones?

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