New Delhi: Now, it could be a battle between saving calories and breaking bones! For, apart from adding those extra kilos, colas can also put women at risk of developing an early osteoporosis, a ‘silent’ disease that makes bones prone to fracture, by making them dry and weak.
That’s the finding of a new study in US, which means the cola firms now have another battle to fight after the notorious pesticide controversy. Several states in India had banned the soft drinks after the New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment had reported excessive pesticide content in the colas sold in India.
The US study suggests that consuming diet, regular and decaffeinated cola could reduce bone density and increase the risk of osteoporosis in women. The National Osteoporosis Foundation in US says roughly 55 per cent of Americans, mostly women, are at risk of developing osteoporosis.
Cola drinks — such as Pepsi-Cola or Coca-Cola — seem to increase that risk, according to research published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, under the US Department of Agriculture, researched cases of 2,500 men and women who were part of the Framingham Osteoporosis Study with the average age of the subjects being a little less than 60.
The amount of cola they consumed was compared to their bone mineral density, measurements of which were taken from the spine and from three different spots on the hips. The study showed that the more cola women drank, the lower their bone mineral density fell.
The study also pointed out that there was no connection between bone loss and age, menopausal status, cigarettes, alcohol, calcium content and vitamin D intake. Interestingly, men who drank cola did not give the same result. Plus, other carbonated drinks did not seem to have any link with lowered bone density.
In the past, it was suggested that reduction in bone density could be because cola replaced milk in the diet, which would mean less calcium and hence, brittle bones. But in this study, milk was kept a part of the diet along with cola. But women who consumed cola had less calcium in their diet on the whole, which could explain the finding in the new study.