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Let them drink cola.

Let them drink cola

A 1989 epidemiologic study uncovered a connection between carbonated-beverage consumption and bone fractures among women over age 40 who had been athletes in college. That report sparked concerns that drinking lkots of sodas might place women at riskof the degenerative bone disease called osteoporosis. Sodas made with extracts from the African tree Cola acuminata bore the brunt of that speculation because they contain phosphorus, which some scientists believe may spur bone loss by limiting the body's ability to use calcium.

To test the cola theory, researchers led by reproductive endocrinologist Samuel Smith at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore assessed the effects of a popular diet cola on bone density in rats, reasoning that many women opt for such low-calorie sodas. For three months, 20 laboratory rats had unlimited access to the diet cola and 16 others had unlimited access to water. The two groups received identical meals of rat chow.

Autopsies revealed that the leg and spnal bones of the cola drinkers were as dense as those of the control rats. The investigators say this refutes the notion that heavy cola drinking might cause weak bones.

However, these and other researchers say they don't recommend excessive swilling of cola or any other carbonated drink. Some women who drink lots of sodas might boost their risk of osteoporosis by cutting down on their consumption of calciumrich milk, speculates Grace Wyshak of Harvard Medical School in Boston. Wyshak, who led the 1989 study, notes that U.S. softdrink consumption has increased 300 percent in the last three decades. The women in her study reported drinking an average of 50 gallons of soda annually, she adds.
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Title Annotation:carbonated-beverage consumption and bone fracture
Author:Fackelmann, Kathy A.
Publication:Science News
Date:Nov 3, 1990
Words:276
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