Osteoporosis, which most commonly affects older women, is a condition that can be prevented by following a well-balanced diet. A diet which is high in calcium-rich vegetables and low fat dairy is ideal. Where does this leave coffee drinkers though? While coffee offers numerous benefits, especially for those who need energy, can it also increase your risk of osteoporosis?
Coffee Consumption is Not a Major Osteoporosis Risk Factor
The studies which have been done on caffeine and osteoporosis seem to be mixed. On the one hand, drinking excessive amounts of coffee or other drinks which are high in caffeine are thought to prevent proper calcium absorption. However, this only seems to be a problem if the person’s daily calcium intake is very low to begin with. The person would also need to drink four or more cups of coffee a day in order for caffeine to prevent proper calcium absorption.
Other studies have shown that caffeine consumption does not increase the risk of osteoporosis. Since studies seem to be mixed at this point, it is thought that caffeine is not a major factor which contributes to bone density. Risk factors like low calcium and vitamin D intake, a family history of osteoporosis, a low body weight, hyperthyroidism, excessive drinking and smoking seem to be more serious risk factors of osteoporosis.
Excessive Coffee Drinkers Should Increase Their Calcium Intake
If you do drink four or more cups of coffee a day, the best thing that you can do is also increase your daily calcium intake as well. Consider taking a daily calcium supplement. Also be sure to consume foods which are rich in calcium, such as orange juice, broccoli, spinach, kale, salmon and sardines. Remember that vitamin D is also necessary for proper absorption of calcium. Following a well-balanced diet which is rich in calcium is in the best interest of anyone who is a heavy coffee drinker.
Ultimately, the most important thing to keep in mind is that coffee consumption is not considered to be a significant risk factor of osteoporosis. As long as you are taking other steps to prevent osteoporosis, drinking significant amounts of coffee or other beverages which are rich in calcium should not be a major problem. That said, anyone who is really worried about the role that caffeine plays in the development of osteoporosis may want to think about reducing the number of cups that they drink each day.
MSN, “Coffee and Calcium Loss.”