Study Links Cola to Bone Loss in Women
Researchers Found Lower Bone Density Among Regular Drinkers of Cola Soft Drinks
WebMD News Archive
Oct. 6, 2006 -- Women who are concerned about thinning bones may want to
limit the number of colas they drink.
Researchers found that drinking cola soft drinks on a regular basis was
associated with lower bone mineral density in the hip.
density can lead to osteoporosis, which, in turn, can cause bone
fractures. Complications from hip fractures are a common cause of disability --
and even death -- in women as they age.
The association was not seen in men, and it was not seen in women who
regularly drank noncola soft drinks.
Drinking three or more cola soft drinks a day was associated with lower bone
density. Results were similar for diet colas. However, the potentially harmful
effect was less for decaffeinated cola.
"Caffeine may explain part of this, but it doesn't explain it all,"
researcher Katherine L. Tucker, PhD, of Boston's Tufts University, tells
"This association was strong, and it persisted even when we controlled
for everything that we could think of that might influence risk, including
calcium and vitamin D intake, fruit and vegetable consumption, and physical
Find Out How To Fight Bone LossFind Out How To Fight Bone Loss
Cola Drinkers Also Drank Milk
Approximately 55% of Americans, mostly women, are at risk for the brittle
and thinning bone disease known as osteoporosis, according to the National
Bones naturally become thinner with age, and women are four times as likely
as men to develop osteoporosis.
In addition to having a family history of osteoporosis, getting little
exercise, being extremely thin, getting too little calcium and vitamin D, and
smoking all contribute to risk. More than one alcoholic drink a day also
increases a woman's risk of osteoporosis.
Earlier studies have linked cola consumption to bone loss, but doctors
thought this was because cola drinkers drank less milk, which is high in
Tucker and colleagues did not find this to be the case among women in their
study. However, women who regularly drank colas did have overall lower calcium
intake, possibly due to eating less.
Researchers examined data derived from 1,413 women and 1,125 men.
The men reported drinking an average of six carbonated drinks a week, with
five being cola. The women reported drinking five carbonated drinks, four of
which were cola.
Cola consumption did not appear to affect bone mineral density among men,
but the more colas the women drank, the lower their bone mineral density.