Drinking coffee seems to have many health benefits, but there could also be some negative effects on your bone health. Let’s check this concern out.
It has long been known that caffeine from coffee or tea can lead to calcium loss in the body. It is estimated that, for each cup of coffee drank, less than five milligrams of calcium will be lost from the body. It is of no surprise to read reports linking coffee drinking and bone loss especially in postmenopausal female. A report from the UK reported such an association in 205 healthy, nonsmoking, postmenopausal women.
In this study, the key findings include:
— In women on optimal calcium intake (744 mg/day), the bone mineral density was not affected by caffeine intake.
— Women on less than optimal calcium intake and the highest caffeine intakes (more than 450 mg/day) had the most significant bone loss, as compared to those women consuming less caffeine. These authors concluded that drinking two to three cups of brewed coffee may increase bone loss from the spine in women who are not taking in the optimal calcium.
This early study was later confirmed in a U.S. study involving 489 elderly women aged 65 to 77 years old. In this study, women who drank 18 ounces of brewed coffee containing 300 mg caffeine a day showed accelerated bone loss at the spine. Examining all the risk factors for osteoporosis in women, researchers concluded: “Life study modification emphasizing bone-healthy habits such as adequate calcium and vitamin D nutrition, regular exercise, limitation of caffeine and alcohol consumption, and avoidance of tobacco are essential to the management of osteoporosis risk.”