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Ask Dr. Nandi: Do soft drinks affect women's bone health?

Posted at 5:51 PM, Dec 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-02 19:30:06-05

(WXYZ) — In our Health Alert tonight, soft drinks and hip fractures, is there a connection? A recent study says yes, drinking too much can significantly raise the risk for women.

Researchers in this study found that postmenopausal women who drank 14 servings a week of soda had a 26% increased risk of a hip fracture. And those who drank roughly the same amount of caffeine-free soda, their risk jumped to 32%.

Now these groups were compared to women who drank no soda at all. And what was also interesting about this study, was that the researchers did not find any significant risks if soda intake was less than the weekly 14 servings.

This does not prove anything as this wasn’t a controlled study. So there could be other factors at play here. But I wouldn’t discount the impact carbonated drinks could have on your bones. Because other studies have found similar findings.

And why is that? Well, it could be because soda often contains added sugars which might affect mineral homeostasis and calcium balance. Or maybe carbonic acid is somehow impacting how nutrients are absorbed. So certainly we need more research looking at the impact that sugar and other sweeteners might have on bone health.

Hip fractures happen because of weak and brittle bones. So to strengthen your bones, make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D. You also want to exercise, walking, dancing and weight-lifting are perfect as they not only slow down bone loss but they also build up your bones too.

I would also recommend you limit alcohol, avoid smoking and of course, if you’re drinking 2 or more cans of pop a day, to consider cutting back.