Biological effects of drinking-water mineral composition on calcium balance and bone remodeling markers

J Nutr Health Aging. 2004;8(5):380-4.


Objective: To compare the effects of 2 drinking waters containing similar calcium (Ca) concentration in order to analyze the role of ions other than Ca on bone metabolism. These mineral drinking-waters differed by their mineral composition primarily concerning the concentration of bicarbonate (HCO3-), high in the HB, and sulfate, high in HS water.

Design: Of 60 included women, 39 completed the study. Patients were randomly assigned to an intake of 1 liter per day of mineral water HB or HS for 28 d, followed by cross-over to the alternative drinking-water for a further 28 d. At baseline and after each period of one month, Ca metabolism parameters, acid-base status, and bone remodeling markers were measured.

Results: Changes in Ca metabolism were significant in the HB group where the ionized Ca increased and the PTH decreased. Serum pH showed a similar increase whatever the used drinking water compared to baseline. In the HB group, significant increase in urine pH, and significant decrease in AT-HCO3- and NH4+ were observed. Bone resorption markers, urinary CTx/Cr, Pyr/Cr, and D-Pyr/Cr, significantly decreased in the HB group compared to baseline, and were not significantly modified in the HS group.

Conclusions: These results showed a beneficial effect of the bicarbonaterich HB water on bone metabolism. This may account for a better bioavailability of the Ca, a greater alkalinization, and a larger decrease in PTH level secondary to a higher ionized Ca level. The higher content of silica in HB water may have also participated to the positive action on bone balance that was observed. In this short term study, these data underlined the potential role of the mineral drinking water composition on bone metabolism.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acid-Base Equilibrium / drug effects
  • Acid-Base Equilibrium / physiology*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Bone Remodeling / physiology*
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Drinking / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Middle Aged
  • Mineral Waters / administration & dosage
  • Mineral Waters / analysis
  • Minerals / administration & dosage*
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood*
  • Phosphorus / metabolism
  • Postmenopause
  • Urine / chemistry


  • Biomarkers
  • Mineral Waters
  • Minerals
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium