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Vol. 59, No. 2-4, 2011
Issue release date: December 2011
Ann Nutr Metab 2011;59:117–126

Diet-Dependent Net Endogenous Acid Load of Vegan Diets in Relation to Food Groups and Bone Health-Related Nutrients: Results from the German Vegan Study

Ströhle A. · Waldmann A. · Koschizke J. · Leitzmann C. · Hahn A.
aNutrition Physiology and Human Nutrition Unit, Institute of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Leibniz University of Hannover, Hannover, bInstitute of Clinical Epidemiology, UKSH Campus Lübeck, Lübeck, and cInstitute of Nutrition Science, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Giessen, Germany

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Background/Aims:Dietary composition has been shown to affect acid-base homeostasis and bone health in humans. We investigated the potential renal acid load (PRAL) and the estimated diet-dependent net acid load (net endogenous acid production, NEAP) in adult vegans and evaluated the relationships between NEAP, food groups and intake of bone health-related nutrients. Methods: The German Vegan Study (GVS) is a cross-sectional study. Data from healthy men (n = 67) and women (n = 87), aged 21–75 years, who fulfilled the study criteria (vegan diet for ≧1 year prior to study start; age ≧18 years, and no pregnancy/childbirth during the last 12 months) were included in the analysis. NEAP values were calculated from diet composition using two models: one based on the protein/potassium quotient and another taking into account an anthropometry-based loss of urinary organic anions. Results:Mean daily intakes of phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium and vitamin C were above, and vitamin D and calcium below Dietary Reference Intake (DRI). Regardless of the model used, the diet in the GVS was characterized by a nearly neutral NEAP. A strong correlation was observed between the NEAP values of the two models (rs = 0.873, p < 0.001). Only the consumption of fruits decreased constantly across the increasing quartiles of NEAP. Conclusions: It can be hypothesized that vegan diets do not affect acid-base homeostasis. With respect to bone health, the significance of this finding needs further investigation.

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