Caffeine and Osteoporosis (Calcium loss)

From the Journal of AMA: (JAMA, 26 Jan. 1994, p. 280-3.)

“There was a significant association between (drinking more) caffeinated coffee and decreasing bone mineral density at both the hip and the spine, independent of age, obesity, years since menopause, and the use of tobacco, estrogen, alcohol, thiazides, and calcium supplements [in women].”

Except when:

“Bone density did not vary […] in women who reported drinking at least one glass of milk per day during most of their adult lives.”

That is, if you drink a glass of milk a day, there is no need to worry about the caffeine related loss of calcium.

0 thoughts on “Caffeine and Osteoporosis (Calcium loss)”

  1. calicum/caffein

    If a person drinks one glass a milk a day or take a calicum
    supplement keep the caffein from coffee deleting the calicum
    in your body. I was told if you drink coffee you will lose calicum.


    1. reply

      I agree that coffee and calcium don’t really get along but it doesn’t mean that if you drink a cup of coffee now and then you are eliminating all the calcium from your body.

      1. A multi vitamin certainly

        A multi vitamin certainly helps I take one from GNC that has actually 1000x sometimes more of daily values of just about all the vitamins it’s actually much higher in some then others like the B’s. I drink coffee almost daily and don’t have any problem with my calcium. I use splenda or equal rather then sugar, but i think the vitamins help and are something everyone should be taking to help prevent osteoporosis

        1. vitamins

          Did you mean 1000%? 1000% is only 10x the RDA. I haven’t seen a multivitamin that contains even 50% of the RDA of either calcium, or magnesium. It’s better to take a multimineral and a multivitamin. I suggest cal/mag/zinc tablets with vitamin D because these minerals and vitamins work together. Vitamin K is usually lacking from multivitamins too. I found one calcium magnesium supplement that had vitamin k and vitamin D at Costco. Vitamins K and D are both important for bone health. You can get vitamin K from leafy green vegetables. If you don’t eat leafy green vegetables, then you need a vitamin k supplement.

          1. Is it the caffeine itself or is it the acid?

            Of the studies I’ve read, the subject was coffee. But, what about teas that contain caffeine? Namely green tea which has been consumed in the east for a millennia. Of those traditional cultures that ate a healthy diet free of processed foods and large amounts of sugars, they reflected robust health free of bone and other “modern” disease. What’s more, coffee is very acidic when brewed in boiling water. I don’t see any studies reflecting the difference “cold brewing” coffee…which is known to reduce acidity substantially….may have on any results found in the study of coffee. It’s well known any acidic foods consumed cause a temporary loss of calcium and other minerals surrounding tissues. Over time and over use of any acid food, without a healthy, nutritionally sound diet, always ends in deficiency. So, if the link between significant calcium loss and coffee/caffeine were even true, why should anyone be surprised? People eat like ****, anyway. Their foods are devoid. Lastly, were any of these studies done on any difference between coffee free of vs coffee containing sugar? Sugar is a bigger, if anything is. Well, that and dead foods.

          2. Oh yeah….

            and, not to mention, what about the flouride/chemical treatment used in the water to make the coffee in these studies???

    2. I never knew that caffeine

      I never knew that caffeine deleted calcium.  I drink a lot of caffeine.  Now this gives me an excuse to eat more ice cream.  I know that there are calcium supplements and that they are healthy to take.  I just recently heard about colloids.  I wondered if anyone knew anything about them and if they helped your health?

  2. Caffeine and Calcium

    *independent of age, obesity, years
    since menopause, and the use of tobacco, estrogen, alcohol,”

    It would seem this study claims that any of the above mentioned factors should not be taken into consideration when looking at the impact of caffeine on calcium.

    Perhaps I misunderstand the meaning of “independent of.”

    The fact is most studies done prior to 2000 (this study was published in 1994) ignored these factors as being unimportant, which allowed coffee drinkers to be lumped together with smokers and users of alcohol in looking at the effects of caffeine.

    Quote from a study done in 2001. Note the slim margin of women affected, and that it required a rare genetic factor to be present for any significant reduction in bone loss.

    “a caffeine intake of more than 300 mg/day was associated with a higher rate of bone loss at most of the skeletal sites in the spine, although the difference was only significant in subjects carrying the homozygous tt genotype of VDR. Women in the high caffeine category with the tt genotype lost bone density over 3years, compared with no change in bone density the tt women in the low caffeine group.

    Though the number of women with the tt genotype was relatively small (6 in the low caffeine group and 5 in the high caffeine group), these findings identify caffeine as a dietary factor, which can alter one’s genetic predisposition toward osteoporosis. An editorial by Massey stresses that moderate caffeine ingestion-less than 16 ounces of brewed coffee per day or 32 ounces of brewed tea-is not associated with increased bone loss. Until it is practical to determine each person’s VDR genotype, physicians should recommend both adequate dietary calcium and moderate caffeine consumption for their elderly patients. ”

    Copied from Science Daily. Link below.

  3. Bad for bones

    This is one of the main reasons why I have given up caffeine – caffeinated soft drinks – and all women should steer clear of them/reduce them,especially when you get older

  4. replay

    Caffeine can cause a very small reduction in calcium absorption. Some studies reported that caffeine also increases calcium loss in the urine, however this was later shown to be untrue when evaluated over longer periods of time.

  5. Consume moderately

    Its how much coffee you take that matters. Because caffeine is a stimulant, it stimulates the urinary tract system to excrete more fluid than normal. Quite similar with the effect of diuretics. Caffeine will always have an effect to your body but if taken moderately it would be lesser.

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