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Caffeine Could Increase Osteoporosis Risk

Caffeine Could Increase Osteoporosis Risk

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  • Caffeine raises calcium clearance by 77% and leads to calcium deficiency
  • Deficiency in calcium can lead to bone diseases, especially osteoporosis
  • Osteoporosis affects approximately 924,000 people in Australia

Consuming caffeinated beverages in excess could lead to osteoporosis, revealed a new study by researchers from the University of South Australia.


While caffeine is one of the only FDA-approved drugs present naturally and legally added to widely consumed foods, the findings of the new study alert its users about the potential risk of bone diseases.

Caffeine and Bone Diseases - What Do We Know about this Combination?

Caffeine is one of the most widely used recreational drugs in the world. It is present in tea leaves, coffee beans, chocolates, and energy drinks. It stimulates the brain and central nervous system and helps combat sleepiness.

About 80 percent of adults consume at least one caffeinated beverage per day. According to Mayo Clinic, up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults.

Some studies have shown relationships between caffeine and loss of calcium in the urine and calcium deficiency overtime. This can make a person more vulnerable to bone diseases.

Osteoporosis is one such chronic, painful disease that makes human bones brittle and more susceptible to fracture. In Australia, an estimated 924,000 people have osteoporosis. Women are more prone to this debilitating condition when compared to men.

Effects of Caffeine on Calcium-Insights from the New Study

The current study enrolled 24 participants in total. Of these, twelve people were given caffeine gums, and the other twelve were given non-caffeinated placebo gum for chewing for 5 minutes at 2-hour intervals over a 6-hour treatment period. The total caffeine given to the participants were of 800 mg.

"The average daily intake of caffeine is about 200 mg - roughly two cups of coffee. While drinking eight cups of coffee may seem a lot (800 mg of caffeine), there are groups who would fall into this category," said co-researcher Dr. Stephanie Reuter Lange.

The research found that caffeine elevated calcium clearance by 77% through kidneys.

"People at risk could include teenagers who binge-consume energy drinks are at risk because their bones are still developing; professional athletes who use caffeine for performance enhancement; as well as post-menopausal women who often have low blood calcium levels due to hormonal changes and lack sufficient daily dietary calcium intake. Increasingly, we are also seeing high levels of caffeine among shift workers who need to stay alert over the nighttime hours, as well as those in the military who use caffeine to combat sleep deprivation in operational settings," said Dr. Reuter Lange.

Dr. Hayley Schultz, one of the lead authors, emphasizes the need for awareness among people to understand the impacts of what they are putting into their bodies. The study team also planned to explore and predict the effects of different levels of caffeine intake on short- and long-term bone health.

Cut Down Your Caffeine Intake With These Five Tips!

  • Know about all the caffeine sources and plan your diet accordingly
  • Go with water instead of cold caffeinated beverages
  • Cut back your coffees or energy drinks gradually
  • Switch to non-caffeinated herbal teas to refresh yourself
  • Stay alert when you binge-eat and choose fresh juices over caffeinated beverages

  1. Caffeine cuts close to the bone when it comes to osteoporosis - (https://www.unisa.edu.au/media-centre/Releases/2021/caffeine-cuts-close-to-the-bon--when-it-comes-to-osteoporosis/)
  2. Reuter SE, Schultz HB, Ward MB, Grant CL, Paech GM, Banks S, Evans AM. The effect of high-dose, short-term caffeine intake on the renal clearance of calcium, sodium and creatinine in healthy adults. Br J ClinPharmacol. 2021 Apr 14. doi: 10.1111/bcp.14856. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33852164.
  3. Caffeine Chart - (https://cspinet.org/eating-healthy/ingredients-of-concern/caffeine-chart)
  4. Coffee, Tea and Bone Health - (https://americanbonehealth.org/nutrition/bonesense-on-coffee-tea-and-bone-health/)

Source: Medindia

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