Is a Coffee Habit Impacting Your Bone Health?

835744154

835744154

Photo by: Wavebreakmedia

Wavebreakmedia

Related To:

Coffee wakes you up in the morning, perks you up in the afternoon, provides a premise to meet with pals, and caps off a meal just right. But does it affect your bone health and make you more susceptible to fractures and falls?

The New York Times Well blog recently considered that very question, reassuringly citing a systematic review of the effects of caffeine – including from coffee -- published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology that concluded that daily coffee drinking “is not associated with significant concern regarding the risk of fracture and fall,” particularly for adults who are healthy and have enough calcium in their diets.

The review, which was sponsored by ILSI North America, a non-profit scientific organization that works to address issues of nutrition and food safety and is primarily funded by industry, examined caffeine’s effect on a variety of aspects of bone health, including bone mineral density, osteoporosis, risk of fracture and fall, and calcium homeostasis. The calcium in our diets is critical to maintaining bone health. (So it’s not a good idea to substitute coffee or tea for milk.)

“When calcium levels in the body are adequate, caffeine does not cause adverse effects related to bone health,” Alison Kretser, MS, RD, the ILSI North America staff dietician who served as the project officer for the review, told Healthy Eats.  “Our study found that there was no significant impact associated with intake of less than 400mg of caffeine (about 4 cups of coffee) per day on fracture and fall rates, bone mineral density and osteoporosis, or altered calcium homeostasis, particularly under conditions of adequate calcium intake.”

The review focused on healthy adults, and more research is needed to determine caffeine’s effect on those with health challenges or other sensitivities. The evidence supports a lower recommended caffeine-intake threshold for pregnant women (≤300 mg/day), as well as children and adolescents (≤2.5 mg/kg-day).

Still, Kretser notes that about 90 percent of Americans take in less than the threshold 400 mg of caffeine (four cups of coffee), with most of us consuming an average of about 165 mg per day. That means most of us are probably safe enjoying our usual morning cup (or two or three) without worrying about our bones.

Phew.

Related Links:

Keep Reading

Next Up

Healthy Swaps: Summer Cocktails

There’s nothing wrong with sipping on a cocktail or two, just don't overdo it. Make smart choices for those alcoholic drinks – try our healthy swaps.

How to Make Serious Iced Coffee

Coffee snobs will approve of this cold-brewed version from Food Network Magazine.

Crave-Worthy Salads for Post-Thanksgiving Dinner

These dinner salads will hit the spot after the big meal.

50 Summer Drinks

Drink up! Food Network Magazine made enough sodas, shakes and cocktails to last all season.

Hot Drinks for Cold Nights

Whip up either of these warming beverages to close out a holiday gathering or a chilly winter night. They're perfectly portioned to prevent the seasonal tendency to go overboard.

Our Essential Summer Drink Cheat Sheet

With this handy chart, quickly whip up refreshing sips all season long.

Make Merry with Boozy Holiday Drinks

Pour your friends and fam boozy seasonal cocktails, from eggnog martinis to steamy hot toddy swigs, that'll warm your clan up in a jiff.

How Much Water Do You Need to Drink Each Day?

Find out if you're drinking enough water and staying hydrated during the summer months with these tips from Food Network.

The Hottest Thing in Cocktails? Room-Temperature Drinks

Forget the craze for “premium” ice cubes in cocktails; now it’s room-temperature drinks that are hot, hot, hot.

Drink the Olympics: How to Toast, Russian Style

In case you’re hopping a plane to Sochi, Russia, right now or hoping to re-create Russia at home, here’s a quick primer on how to toast like the Russians do.