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Nutritional Wisdom

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 17th, 2013

Drinking diet soda depletes the body’s calcium

The average American drinks 216 liters of soda each year. Soda drinking overall is associated with lower bone mineral density in women and children, and one recent study focused specifically on the effects of diet soda on bone health. The authors commented that this research was sparked by the observation that diet soda drinking behaviors are often different than regular soda drinking behaviors – women often use diet sodas in an effort to avoid weight gain – either to stave off hunger between meals or as a replacement for calorie-containing beverages. Many women drink more than 20 diet sodas per week.

These researchers discovered that parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations rise strongly following diet soda consumption – this is troublesome because PTH acts to increase blood calcium by stimulating bone breakdown, and as a result calcium is released from bone. What happened to the calcium after it was released? Women were given 24 ounces of either diet cola or water on two consecutive days, and urinary calcium content was measured for three hours. Women who drank diet cola excreted more calcium in their urine compared to the women who drank water. The authors concluded that this calcium loss may underlie the observed connection between soda drinking and low bone mineral density.

For the complete article see the 04-17-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 04-17-2013 paper.

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