Does soda pop cause calcium loss?

Well, the subject header pretty much says it all. I was enjoying an ice-cold Diet Coke (my vice of choice) with a friend who told me that I shouldn’t drink so much soda because I’m a woman and the phosphates in soda leach calcium from your bones. Since osteoporosis runs in my family, I’d love to know the scoop on this, though nothing less than some verifiable Straight Dope would make me give up my DC. So has anyone heard of this before, or is my friend full of carbonated bubbles?

I’ve heard this too, but since I drink mostly water, I don’t worry to much about it. Ask your doctor about it and get a good vitamin supplement to help out.

Note: that this data very vague which leads me to beleive its being was misrepresented and the tone of the article seemed quite biased.

I heard a news report that stated 1 glass of soda = 2Tbsp milk worth of calcium loss.

The simple answer is; yes, high phosphorous intake contributes to osteoporoses. Along with high protein, sucrose, preservatives and caffeine intake. These all cause increased calcium excretion/adrenal imbalances. So do calcium and vita D deficiencies. The fact is that osteoporosis is much more complex than we used to believe. Their used to be a link for Med-line on the net…can’t remember the specific link. Good for research and scientific studies. Books to check out that quote tons of studies:
“Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine”;Michael T. Murray, N.D./Joseph Pizzorno,N.D. Used to be published by Prima Publishing in Rocklin, Ca.–it is widely available
“Herbs for Health and Healing”; Kathi Keville; Rodale Press. Even if you are not interested in herbs she does a great job of discribing hows and whys of disease.

Falcon2-I am not familiar with that particular study, however, there are countless ones on this subject affecting all ages. It is pretty widely accepted, at least by the natural health care community.

BTW-caffeine is naturally occuring in the the kola nut…I’m not sure what the study meant by adding caffeine. Last time I checked there was technically no such thing as caffeine free; since this involves removing 100% of something and unless something new has developed, can’t do it.
NOT PICKING NITS WITH YOU…WITH YOUR QUOTED STUDY. I agree that this except is vague, but the info is basically sound, based on other studies.
WHEW! Sorry folks, this is one of my passions. :smiley:

“Man, the 60’s must have been real good for you!”
George Carlin…“Outrageous Fortune”

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore”
Dorothy…“The Wizard of Oz”

I think that the jury is still out on whether drinking caffeinated/phosphorated sodas is a major risk factor for osteoporosis IN A PERSON WITH A HEALTHY VITAMIN D & CALCIUM INTAKE. To the extent that soda has largely replaced milk as a mealtime beverage, there is great concern about the future bone health of the “Pepsi generation”.

Calcium excretion rate is a marker of bone “turnover”, not of bone loss. If twice as much calcium is coming out, you don’t know whethre bones are gaining, losing, or staying the same with regards to calcium content, unless you also know how much calcium is going in…

btw, here’s the link to Medline (via Internet Grateful Med):

Sue from El Paso

Lew mentioned that the intake of protein contributes to osteoporosis. How does that work out? I never thought protein could do anything detrimental to your body. What gives?

I know this isn’t very scientific, but, I have drank Mt Dew in excess for about 14 years or so. What do I mean by “excess”? Try 2+ liters a day, I don’t drink coffee so I have to feed my caffinee addiction somehow.
In that time I’ve had 3 complete physicals, 2 of which were done in the U.S. Navy, where they test for EVERYTHING, and other than being overwieght(gee…I wonder why? ;] ), no problems. I do drink 1 to 2 glasses of milk a day, which could be making up for it, however, I haven’t always had the milk regularly.

I know, not very scientific, but you do what you can for the advancement of Beverage Science.

Also, Unc C is right, at least in my case, about debunking the UL about Mt Dew making one sterile. I have a 2 year old to prove it.


Ok folks… (Gahd-this is way more complicated than I thought this would get.

Before I reply; need to say this to:
Majormd…I believe you said in another thread that you are a med school student (please correct me if I’m wrong). I presume that is in allopathic medicine. Not criticizing, by any means, just pointing out that you and I may be coming from 2 different positions. So please don’t take this as arguing with you.

I believe in the old systems theory…if; 1 component of any system is weak/then; the entire system weakens, etc. I did not mean to imply that increased caffeine/phosphorous intake is necessarily a major risk factor. I was trying to give a simple answer and suggestions for seeking further info. BTW, thanks for the link. As I said, osteoporoses, as is all disease, a complex problem.

This is true, as far as it goes. OP (please accept my shorthand for this illness) is, literally, porous bones. (and their are many other conditions that can cause bone loss.)

OK, Llardball, pay attention, this is where your ? comes in. :wink: OP involves the mineral as well as the non-mineral (organic/mostly protein-i.e.collagen) properties of bone. So, right away, we know there is more involved than a lack of calcium. (that is known as osteomalacia) OP also includes an imbalance of other minerals as well as organics in the bone. What I would point to as a major factor, is the METABOLISM of calcium. (how your body absorbs, stores and excretes it) High intake of protein, phosphates, etal. have been found increase excretion of calcium in urine. High protein intake has also been found to block calcium absorption. (notice, I’m talking HIGH, however, our western culture diet is commonly considered high in protein) Yes, you should take calcium supplements (this is a whole different subject, but, generally you should also take magnesium) and eat calcium rich foods. Simply put, if you have a Big Mac and a DC…You are majorly increasing calcium excretion. Since most Americans consume vitamin/mineral poor diets and/or have some sort of metabolism quirk you would need to increase calcium intake by what??? Throw into this everybody’s crazy hormonal activities and my, don’t we have a mess???
Bottom line…Everything in moderation, keep everything in balance (studies also show exercise helps), remember that you can find a study to back up anything…

Whew!!! So, Jodhi…be happy and try not to fall down…;D

“Man, the 60’s must have been real good for you!”
George Carlin…“Outrageous Fortune”

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore”
Dorothy…“The Wizard of Oz”

Um, Lew? Doubtful if Sue will blow her own horn, so I’ll blow it for her. As in, she really IS a doctor (what is it now, Sue, 20 years?)–an internist, IIRC-- and she really is a Major. . . .

She can’t double-ride a wave-runner worth anything, though! :wink:


Thanks, Melin :slight_smile:

I think I need to clarify my earlier statement with a big picture answer.

Osteoporosis is a complex disease. The number of proposed & proven risk factors are too numerous to try to list here. By focusing on just a few of the worst risk factors, though, you can accomplish the most good.

Major Risk Factors:

  1. Heredity. Do women in your family (maternal OR paternal) have hip fractures, or spinal compression fractures? Have any of them been tested for osteoporosis & told they had it? Tough luck, it’s too late to apply for a change of parents :wink:

  2. Ethnicity. Caucasian women are MUCH more prone to osteoporosis than any other racial group.

  3. Thinness. If willowy is the standard body type in your family, you’re at risk. Gaining weight doesn’t seem to help, though.

  4. Female sex.

OK, these are interesting, but not much to be done for them. Let’s go into some modifiable risk factors:

  1. Lack of estrogen/testosterone. Evolution doesn’t care one whit how long or how well you live after you can’t reproduce. If you feel differently, you should strongly consider taking some form of hormone replacement therapy.

  2. Smoking. (This is my biggest reason for not wanting to list too many factors - if you give a 30 year old woman who smokes anything besides quitting smoking she can do to help her bones, she’ll do anything else… but smoking is the single biggest modifiable risk factor)

  3. Deficient diet in calcium and/or vitamin D. USDA & Nat’l Academy of Sciences are increasing RDA’s for calcium.

  4. Big problems affecting a small number of people. Steroid use. Prolonged bedrest. Hyperthyroidism. Anti-seizure meds. Kidney failure.

Less important contributors include alcohol, caffeine, & sodas with phosphorus. I would really only worry about these if you’re doing all you can in 1-4 above & have non-modifiable risk factors listed further above.

Exercise (esp. with weights) helps too!

Sue from El Paso

On dear, sounds like I might have started something, I was making a conscience effort to avoid. I was not trying to correct or debate anything.

Melin/MajorMD-thanks for the correction. Someone (who specified being a med student) on another thread uses MD in their username and I clearly got the 2 confused. In any case, I was not calling anyone’s (student or master (“Major” ;)) knowledge/expertise into question. My point was regarding 2 perspectives of healing (i.e. targeting isolated disease vs. healing your body, as a whole system. I have a personal physician (M.D.) and he works with a Nurse Practitioner, trained in Integrative Natural Medicine. I understand the need for both, and find myself with the rare fortune of this combonation in one office. My apologies for any misunderstanding.

As I indicated in both posts, there are many factors involved…I was only attempting to answer the original, simpler question as to phosphorous contributing to calcium loss.