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Cola And Osteoporosis... Do You Know The Connection?

Colas, but not other carbonated beverages, are associated with low bone mineral density in older women.

The impact of cola consumption was brought to public attention in 2006 with “The Framingham Osteoporosis Study” completed by researchers from Tufts University, Boston, USA. The study found that there is a high correlation between cola and osteoporosis among women who drink cola regularly-compared to women who don't drink cola.

Interestingly:

  • this risk did not seem to exist for men
  • the risk was associated only with cola and not with other carbonated drinks, and
  • the risk was not related to reduced milk consumption (Consumption among regular cola drinkers was no different from non-regular cola drinkers-except for women who drank massive amounts of cola).

The study of 2,500 women showed that all women (regardless of age or calcium intake) who drank four or more colas each week had lower bone mineral density in all their hip locations but not the spine. If a woman already had low bone mineral density her risk of bone fracture was much higher. Male bone mineral density was the same among regular and non-regular cola drinkers.

The researchers did not state why cola was so detrimental to women's bones but speculated that phosphoric acid, an ingredient found in all colas, may contribute to bone loss by changing the acid balance in the blood. More information on acidity within foods and their role in bone health may be found in the article on alkaline diets.

Despite the growing concern about cola and osteoporosis, in the United States soft drink consumption continues to increase. A study conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, showed that energy intake from soft drinks in the United States increased 135 percent between about 1977 and 2001. Young adults ages 19 to 39 drank the most soft drinks, increasing their intake from 4.1 percent to 9.8 percent of total daily calorie consumption during that period.

Osteoporosis societies advise people who drink caffeinated soda (cola) to get adequate calcium and vitamin D either from their diet or from supplements.

To learn about the calcium and vitamins that help to treat cola and osteoporosis... visit our best calcium page.