2705: Musculoskeletal benefits of bicarbonate in older adults

Men and women, ages 60 and older

This research study will determine how much potassium bicarbonate will best maintain bone and muscle health.

Major Exclusions
  • Liver, heart or kidney disease (including a history of kidney stones in past 5 years)
  • Use of certain osteoporosis medications
  • Use of diuretics, i.e. HCTZ, Lasix, triamterene
  • Use of ACE inhibitors i.e. lisinipril, Vasotec, Accupril
  • Use of angiotensin II receptor blockers, i.e. Avapro, Cozaar, Diovan
  • Weight lower than 99 lbs or higher than 249 lbs
  • Use of calcium greater than 1000 mg per day
  • GERD, acid reflux, stomach ulcer, regular antacid use
  • Active cancer or cancer therapy in the last year
  • Other health conditions, medications, and abnormal lab results
Length of Study

88 days

# of Visits

1 screening visit; 9 morning study visits (8 blood draws), 5 phone interviews; involves a bone density test, physical performance testing, and various questionnaires



Study diet

There is no study diet. You will be asked to keep a log of your meals for 3 days at the beginning and 3 days towards the end of the study. You will be interviewed by phone to review your log


Randomized to take either 1) 1.0 mmol/kg/d potassium bicarbonate, 2) 1.5 mmol/kg/d potassium bicarbonate, or 3) placebo, an inactive substance. Depending on your weight, you will take 2, 3, or 4 capsules with each meal.


$25 per screening visit; $470 for completion of study

Can I work?

Yes, you may work. Each visit occurs in the morning and involves a fasting blood draw as well as other activities depending on the visit. You can come in for your visit between 7:30 and 10:00 am. Day 1 and Day 84 study days should take approximately 2 hours. The other visits will last between 30 minutes and 1 hour. There are also two 24-hr urine collections, one at the beginning and one at the end of the study.

  1. Length of study
    Total length of the study including resident stays and nonresident visits.
    This does not mean you will be testing the entire time.
  2. Residency
    The length of time volunteers are required to stay overnight at the HNRCA. Residents have their own private room, bathroom, television, VCR, and phone during their stay.
  3. Payment
    The amount of reimbursement for travel and inconvenience.
  4. Number of visits
    Total number of nonresident visits.
  5. Study diet
    Indicates meals which will be provided by the HNRCA
  6. Can I work?
    Indicates if you will be able to work and if so, when.

For more information about this study, please call 617-556-3064; please leave a message and we will return your call.

We appreciate your interest in our program and we hope to work with you in the future.

Thank you,

The Recruitment Office
Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University