Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Do You Drink Cola?

I've always been a sweet tooth for cola. It'd always been my staple.(I called it my daily bread.) The sweet amalgamation of aspartame, phosphoric acid, sodium benzoate and caffeine was just the ultimate thirst-quencher. I never really had a clue where my indulgence with cola would take me until I caught a glimpse of an article that changed my penchant for the beverage. The heading read, "Cola may be Bad for Women."

The article was published in the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and it suggested that cola boosts osteoporosis risk. According to Katherine Tucker, the director of the Epidemiology and Dietary Assessment Program at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, "cola beverages were associated with lower bone mineral density. Women who drink cola daily had lower bone mineral density than those who drink it only once a week."

Alright, I knew that caffeine had something to do with low memory and slow cognition... but bone density? I was totally mystified so I read on...

In the study, Tucker's team collected data on more than 2,500 participants in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study, averaging just below 60 years of age. The researchers looked at bone mineral density at three different hip sites, as well as the spine. They found that in women, drinking cola was associated with lower bone mineral density at all three hip sites, regardless of age, menopause, total calcium and vitamin D intake, or smoking or drinking alcohol. Women reported drinking an average of five carbonated drinks a week, four of which were cola. They said that bone density among women who drank cola daily was almost 4 percent less, compared with women who didn't drink cola.

The reason for the density change, according to the researchers, is attributed to caffeine interfering with calcium absorption, thus resulting in less bone formation and phosphoric acid (in cola) causing leeching of calcium from bones to help neutralize the acid.

Who would have known something so sweet and delightful was actually a silent killer? Although it breaks my appetite to let it go, I think I'd take my chances. I'd just have to slowly kill the addiction before it breaks me (literally)...

posted by Rachelle
at 12:09 PM