According to researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, cola may contribute to lower bone mineral density in older women, a condition which increases the risk for osteoporosis.
Researchers analyzed dietary questionnaires and bone mineral density measurements at the spine and three different hip sites of more than 2,500 people in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. The average age of the study participant was just below 60.
According to the findings, cola consumption in women was associated with lower bone mineral density at all three hip sites, regardless of factors such as age, menopausal status, total calcium and vitamin D intake, or use of cigarettes or alcohol.
However, cola consumption was not associated with lower bone mineral density for men at the hip sites, or the spine for either men or women.
The results were similar for diet cola and, although weaker, for decaffeinated cola as well.
In the study, women reported consuming an average of five carbonated drinks a week, four of which were cola.
Researchers note that more than 70 percent of the carbonated beverages consumed by people in the study were colas, all of which contain phosphoric acid. Researchers also notes that calciumintake from all sources, including non-dairy sources such as dark leafy greens or beans, was lower for women who drank the most cola.
A possible mechanism for the bone loss could be a result of a diet low in calcium and high in phosphorus - which may promote bone loss, tipping the balance of bone remodeling toward calcium loss from the bone.
Further studies are needed to fully understand the effect of cola consumption on bone health in older women. These latest findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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