Vormann J

IPEV-Institut für Prävention und Ernährung, Ismaning/München

The modern western diet is a testament to our affluence and it has become a major contributor to ill health
and chronic disease. Man has evolved over millions of years. Genetically, only very small differences exist
between current humans and our Stone Age ancestors. Living conditions, especially with regard to physical
exercise and diet, generally differ tremendously between then and now. Mineral intakes were much higher
during the Stone Age than currently and human metabolism is probably better adapted to this high intake
compared with the current intake that might only be just sufficient to avoid overt deficiencies. There is also
growing evidence that modern diet induces a chronic acid load. Epidemiological data show that chronic lowgrade
metabolic acidosis as well as mineral deficiencies, esp. concerning magnesium, are important risk factors
for various diseases; however this knowledge has not been translated into treatment options in modern clinical
practice. Dietary acid load is connected to increased risk for osteoporosis and diabetes and might induce loss of
magnesium. Magnesium status is significantly correlated to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and also cancer
risks. There is also evidence of a connection between acidosis as well as magnesium intake on cognitive
functions. A more alkaline diet would also increase magnesium intake, as main provider of alkalines in our diet
are vegetables and fruits that also contain significant amounts of magnesium. By supplementation of
magnesium two different aspects must be considered; the absolute amount of magnesium in the
supplemented salt and the kind of magnesium salt. Alkaline salts like magnesium citrate will not only work as a
magnesium supplement but the citrate will additionally have an alkalizing effect, thereby making these
magnesium salts automatically also a tool for reducing dietary acid load.