It has long been accepted that drinking coffee can increase the amount of calcium the body loses which in turn could affect bone density. But are the amounts significant and how concerned should be?
A Swedish study completed in 2013 studied more than 61,000 women and found that those women who drank four cups of coffee or more each week did see a small reduction in their bone density but it was not bad enough to then translate into an increased risk of fracture. Sweden was an interesting place for the research as it has high coffee consumption and also has high rates of osteoporotic fracture incidents.
In 2017 a review was published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology which concluded that even drinking up to 8 cups of coffee a day is not associated with increased risk of fracture. However the report was also recommending that healthy adults insure they get enough calcium each day.
Calcium is essential for our heart, muscles and nerves to function properly and also for our blood to clot. Inadequate calcium levels can lead to the development of osteoporosis. Low calcium intake can then be associated with low bone mass and also high fracture rates. The recommended calcium intake for 19-30 year olds is 1,000 mg per day, 31-50 year olds is 1,000 mg per day, 51-70 year old males it remains 1,000 mg per day but for 51-70 year old females the recommended amount increases to 1,200 mg per day.
Calcium Rich Foods
To increase the calcium in your diet try to include foods from the following list. This includes fortified oatmeal, sardines, cheddar cheese, yogurt, and salmon. You can also consider looking at calcium supplements. It should also be noted that high levels of protein and sodium can increase calcium excretion through the kidneys. A balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D can go a long way to help prevent osteoporosis. But we would always recommend if you have any concerns or queries you see your doctor.
Calcium and Drinking Coffee
So the research seems to suggest that whilst it is true, you lose calcium when you consume caffeine, it is not at a level that caffeine should be a cause of concern. That said the advice is also to ensure you get enough calcium into your diet in the first place to protect your bones against disease and fracture.