Drinking Cola Now Could Hurt Women Later
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DENVER (CBS4) ― The cola you drink today could come back to haunt you decades from now. That's the message doctors are trying to get out to young women who confess to a cola compulsion.
Visit any mall food court on any given day and you will have no difficulty finding women who admit they drink more cola than they probably should. They call themselves cola fans, cola aficionados and cola addicts.
They like the taste, they like the fizz and they like the caffeine. And their habit can add up.
Drink four colas a day and by the end of the week, you will have tallied a grand total of 28 high phosphorous, high acid, caffeine-laden drinks.
But University of Colorado Medical School's Dr. Michael McDermott points out that all this cola could come back to haunt young drinkers.
"It very well might. And at that point," McDermott adds, "It's too late."
An estimated 10 million Americans have osteoporosis -- a disease where bones become fragile and break easily. Usually, we think of the disease as one afflicting elderly women, but it can begin decades earlier when we drink colas.
The phosphorous which makes the cola fizzy stimulates a hormone that pulls calcium out of bone. The cola is acidic and our bodies seek calcium to offset the acid. Finally, the caffeine in the cola takes that leached-out calcium and sends it out of our body in our urine.
"Sodas in excess probably promotes significant bone loss over a lifetime," warns McDermott.
But how do you define excess? A 2006 Tufts University Study showed that women who drank four or more colas a week had lower bone mineral density in their hips.
By the time today's young women hit middle age, they will find themselves at University Hospital getting a bone scan with Deborah Johnson.
"It's time to check these old bones out," said Deborah as the scanner quickly and painlessly passed over her body. And now that she knows more about the connection between cola an osteoporosis she's planning to cut out all cola from her diet.
"Not even one!" she laughs.