Richard G. Petty, MD

Colas, Carbonated Drinks and Osteoporosis

There is some new research reported in the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that has not been as widely reported as I had hoped.

According to the results of the Framingham Osteoporosis Study regular consumption of carbonated cola drinks may increase risk for low bone mineral density (BMD) in women.

There are at least four possible reasons for the adverse effect of carbonated drinks on BMD:

  1. They displace the consumption of healthier drinks
  2. Most contain caffeine
  3. Phosphoric acid (H3PO4)
  4. High fructose corn syrup might also weaken bone

The researchers used a sensitive technique called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry to measure BMD at the spine and at 3 hip sites in 1413 women and in 1125 men in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. They also evaluated dietary intake with a food frequency questionnaire. Using a statistical model each BMD measure was regressed on the frequency of soft drink consumption after adjustment for body mass index, height, age, energy intake, physical activity score, smoking, alcohol use, total calcium intake, total vitamin D intake, caffeine from non-cola sources, season of measurement, and, for women, menopausal status and estrogen use.

This study showed that women are more sensitive to the effects of cola than men, but the mechanism remains unclear. If we look at potential explanations for the reduced BMD, the researchers ruled out item one: the possibility that cola replaces healthier beverages, such as milk. Why is low BMD more of a problem in women? They suggest that more physical activity, a diet higher in calcium and different hormone levels might help protect males from the disadvantages of drinking cola. Until further research is done, however, women (and men) can keep their bones strong with regular weight-bearing exercise and high intake of calcium and 
vitamin D.

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

logo logo logo logo logo logo