The relationship between dietary acid load and intensity of musculoskeletal pain condition: A population‐based study

Niki Bahrampour, Cain C. T. Clark

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    Pain is a globally prevalent problem, and a comprehension of its pathophysiology is important with respect to patient's health. Musculoskeletal pain conditions (MPs) may be associated with physical, lifestyle, and nutrition status, while dietary acid load (DAL) may be inversely associated with musculoskeletal health in adults. This cross-sectional study consisted of 175 adults experiencing pain. Anthropometric measurements, physical activity (PA), and pain intensity were assessed via specific questionnaires. Dietary data were collected using a 7-day 24-h recall. Foods and beverages were analyzed with Nutritionist IV software for extracting the total energy and nutrients. Net endogenous acid production (NEAP) and potential renal acid load (PRAL) were evaluated for assessing the DAL. Linear regression and Spearman correlation were used to investigate the association of exposure and input variables. Linear regression showed a positive relationship between PRAL and NEAP and pain intensity in the crude model. This significant positive relationship remained after adjusting for all confounders. A lower consumption of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B9 and C, and fiber was seen in the following quartiles of PRAL and NEAP. In addition, MPs intensity and PRAL and NEAP had a weak, positive correlation. This study suggests that a higher DAL may be associated with MPs. However, further research is needed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2542-2549
    Number of pages8
    JournalFood Science and Nutrition
    Issue number8
    Early online date5 Apr 2022
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


    The author thanks the study participants for their cooperation and assistance in physical examinations. This study was supported by SRBIAU (IR.IAU.SRB.REC.1399.084).


    • dietary acid load
    • muscle pain
    • net endogenous acid production
    • pain intensity
    • potential renal acid load

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Food Science


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