Posted April 28, 2008 – Downing a soda or two a day may be a part of your normal routine. But think again.
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Those sugary soft drinks not only are bad for your diet, but new research suggests that they could also be bad for your bones, reports HealthDay.com.
“There is enough evidence that high consumption of soda and carbonated beverages is associated with somewhat lower bone mass in children, and that's a real concern and people should be aware of it," said Dr. Lawrence Raisz, director of the University of Connecticut Center for Osteoporosis.
The reason isn’t clear, but experts believe that drinking soda – particularly colas – affects bone density in several ways.
One reason may be that people who drink colas are simply less likely to get enough calcium and vitamin D in their diets, because the soda is replacing more nutritious beverages, such as milk or calcium-fortified juice. Another reason cited by the experts is the caffeine in colas, which has been linked to a higher risk of osteoporosis. One more possible explanation is that one of the ingredients found in colas, phosphoric acid, can cause an imbalance in the body as the body seeks to neutralize the acid with calcium. If there isn't enough calcium in the diet, the body will take calcium from the bones.
"Phosphate is in milk, but milk also contains calcium and vitamin D. In soft drinks, there is just phosphoric acid and no calcium. Extra overzealous drinking may lead to a phosphoric acid imbalance, and if there's not enough calcium, the body goes to the bones to restore the balance," explained Dr. Primal Kaur, director of the Osteoporosis Center at Temple University Health Sciences Center in Philadelphia.