EmpowHer asks Dr. Neil Binkley if there's a connection to drinking carbonated soft drinks and porous bones?
Dr. Binkley: That sounds like a simple question. The short answer is yes, there is an association. As a society, we have replaced a food that has a large amount of important bone nutrients -— milk -— with a food that has almost no nutritional value -— diet soda.
Studies have looked at these trends. If you compared today's young women in their teen years with those from 40 years ago, the average girl in 1960 drank roughly 40 gallons more milk per year than she does now. Milk has been replaced by sodas. So we have in essence removed or markedly reduced a good food that has calcium, protein, phosphorus, and vitamin D and replaced it with carbonated water.
There is also some suggestion that the phosphorus or phosphoric acid content of sodas may be bad for bones. The literature is divided on this issue, but the punch line is this: over the course of a year, if you remove 40 gallons of milk with all its nutritional value, how can you expect anything other than a bad effect on bone health?
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Dr. Binkley earned his MD degree from the University of Wisconsin Medical School and subsequently received his training in Internal Medicine at the Marshfield Clinic. After several years in private practice, he returned to the University of Wisconsin in 1990 and completed a geriatric fellowship. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. In 1994 he was instrumental in establishing the UW Osteoporosis Clinical Center and the Osteoporosis Clinical Research Program, offering treatment options unavailable in standard clinical practice. Additionally, his research efforts focus on osteoporosis diagnosis, osteoporosis in men and the role of nutrition in bone loss. Recent studies of vitamins K and A are lending valuable data on nutritional supplementation and bone health. Dr. Binkley also serves on the scientific advisory committee and physician certification course faculty for the International Society for Clinical Densitometry.