Caffeine and Bone Density

Caffeine and bone density have a widely studied relationship, so is caffeine bad for your bones, or not?

Caffeine and Bone Density

Photo credit: Wordans

The answer is actually not a simple “yes” or “no.” Caffeine and bone density have been the subject of many studies that have had conflicting results. Some of these studies have only looked at caffeine consumption and failed to identify other variables that have great influence on bone health. The most important example of this is the identification of the source of caffeine consumed. Soda beverages like Coca-Cola contain phosphoric acid, which inhibits the absorption of calcium. So beverages containing both phosphoric acid and caffeine are double damaging to bone mass density and may have contributed to certain research studies having a better or worse result depending on which beverage the test group was consuming. Another variable that can cloud these studies relates to the populations in the observational studies. If they were not drinking a caffeinated beverage, would they drink something that could actually contribute to greater health? The following are a list of variables that show caffeine and bone density to have a relationship, but in many scenarios as a result of affiliated lifestyle, not a cause and effect relationship.

1. Sleep and bone density.

Could it be possible that individuals that consume significant amounts of coffee, are not getting the proper amount of sleep, this could potentially have negative effect on bone mass density.

2. Hydration and bone density.

There is an even greater possibility that individuals that drink significant amounts of caffeinated beverages aren’t hydrating enough as their thirst is addressed with these caffeinated beverages which, research has shown, do not facilitate proper hydration.

3. Poor beverage choices for bone density.

Possibly just the fact that they are not consuming these other healthier beverages is what is causing the loss of bone mass density instead of the caffeine.

 

A study published in the Journal of Food Chemicals and Toxicology (Heaney, 2002) made these observations along with considering the entire literature review of caffeine and bone density stated, that previous studies implicating beverages containing caffeine as a risk factor for low bone mass density or osteoporosis have been observed using populations consuming significantly decreased levels of calcium compared to other populations. Furthermore, the study states that is evidence does not exist showing that caffeine has any negative effect on bone mass density or general calcium metabolism in individuals that ingest the the standard daily recommendation of calcium.

 

Reference:

Heaney, R. (2002). Effects of caffeine on bone and the calcium economy. Journal of Food Chemicals and Toxicology. Sep;40(9):1263-70.

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta