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Thursday, March 19, 2009 Linda Tieger, Community Member, asks

Q: Why are carbonated beverages (even seltzer?) not good for your bones?

I stay away from soda; if I must drink it, I drink Decaffeinated Diet Coke.  But I really like the carbonation so I drink seltzer as it has no salt.  Why are carbonated beverages not good for your bones?

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Answers (5)
Pam Flores, Health Guide
3/19/09 5:38pm

Hi Linda:  Carbonated drinks have high levels of phosphates and phosphorus and virtually no calcium.  When phosphate levels get to high it pulls calcium from the bones.

 

I would check your seltzer water and see just how much phosphates/phosphorus it has.  If you only drink it occasionally or say one glass a day I don't think it will cause major problems because it's consumed in moderation.  But on the other hand never let this water replace fortified juices, milk ect that contain calcium.

 

Even if you drink decaf, you still aren't avoiding the above 2 minerals that affect your calcium levels.

 

Here's a great blog, from our Expert PJ Hamel explaining this topic.

 

Good luck...

Reply
larry, Community Member
3/20/09 12:46am

Hi Linda and Pam, this is a very interesting topic. I'd like to add perhaps an alternate view of colas and phosphorus (and phosphoric acid etc). I don't mean to contradict Pam's answer in any way, only to contribute some of the things I have found in my search.


First of all, I am not a chemist. But I came across this concern about colas when I was pondering why I have osteoporosis. Some studies conclude that colas are linked to bone loss. Paradoxically, phosphorus is also necessary for bones! 


Here is a link to a wikipedia entry on the subject: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphoric_acid

Other studies are inconclusive regarding colas and bone loss.


You should look at the phosphorus content of foods, too. I found a chart at this USDA web site: 

http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/SR21/nutrlist/sr21a305.pdf 

To answer your question about seltzer, the USDA says that 12oz of Club Soda (I think that is seltzer) has 0 mg of phosphorus.


Here are some other phosphorus values for common foods:

12oz cabonated beverage cola w/cafeine 37mg

1 cup baked beans 293mg

1 cup chocolate milk 234mg

1 sausage/egg biscuit 562mg


As you can see, there are some common foods that contain great amounts of phosphorus, especially in comparison to cola drinks. Phosphorus is added to many foods and fast foods. People with kidney disease have to be careful regarding phosphorus because their kidneys can't handle the phosphorus.


My thought would be that anything in moderation is ok, as Pam says.


Related to PJ's blog, I would add that for me, diet cafeine colas were a part of my diet and lifestyle changes (walking/running) that I used to get my cholestrol and blood sugar levels under control. (both were high) I cut out milk shakes, candy, cheesburgers (virtually all fast food) and reduced portions of everything and began walking and running and lost 20-30 pounds and have kept it off for nearly 3 years! The problem with diet foods and drinks is that some people can be tempted to have more of something else they shouldn't because they are using the diet drinks. 

 

FYI: I turn 55 next week, I have a compression fracture (T-11) in my spine and have osteoporosis.

Sorry for the long winded answer. I hope someday we will have many more answers to all our questions!

 



 

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Worm, Community Member
8/10/09 6:29pm

i have been reading the studies online.. they seem to indicate that carbonated water is okay.. its really 1. carbonated drinks with caffeine, and 2. the relationship between drinking these sorts of drinks rather than drinking milk. a poor diet seems to have a stronger relationship to osteoperosis than drinking fizzy drinks. the sugar in non-diet colas seem to be involved in leaching calcium from our bones as well. 

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Pam Flores, Health Guide
8/11/09 9:32am

Hi worm welcome and thanks for your comments. I agree with you and think the major problem in the study was when these drinks were used to substitute or eliminated milk, fortified juices etc. Some believe that the phosphoric acid will pull some calcium from the bone, but I believe things done in moderation are ok. I guess someday I might have to rethink my diet/decaf cola, but since I don't drink more than one can a day, and some days none, it's probably ok.

 

Like I mentioned just don't let the caffeine sodas replace the good drinks we have in juice, milk etc.

 

Thanks so much for joining us and stop by anytime-ok? We would love to hear more from our members since they are so informed.

 

 

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Worm, Community Member
8/11/09 6:02pm

I would really like to see a study done where they have one group drinking carbonated water but taking calcium supplements and/or drinking milk.. one group that drinks just carbonated water without supplementing, and one group that drinks soda with supplements/milk.. i think this sort of study would be more useful. I have a master's in nutrition from a research facility so i know it could be done but probably hasnt because there is not enough profit in it..  

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Pam Flores, Health Guide
8/11/09 6:25pm

Hi worm,  wow, wouldn't that be great if you could get the facility you work for to do that!!  I would find that very interesting, but it sounds like you're right there's not enough profit involved and we all know it comes down to the dollar most of the time.

 

Join us any time, we'd love to hear more from you!

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Matthew, Community Member
3/ 1/12 12:07am
Selzter water does not contain phosphoric acid, as other flavored sodas might. Period. To suggest otherwise is simple muddying the waters (pun intended). So if phosphoric acid is truly the compound of concern, know that seltzer simply does not contain it. There is just too much parroting of uninformed information out there. Seltzer gets its fizziness from dissolved CO2, a small percentage of which converts to carbonic acid in the solution to give the slight tartness or crispness of flavor. Reply
Matthew, Community Member
3/ 1/12 12:09am
Selzter water does not contain phosphoric acid, as other flavored sodas might. Period. To suggest otherwise is simple muddying the waters (pun intended). So if phosphoric acid is truly the compound of concern, know that seltzer simply does not contain it. There is just too much parroting of uninformed information out there. Seltzer gets its fizziness from dissolved CO2, a small percentage of which converts to carbonic acid in the solution to give the slight tartness or crispness of flavor. Reply
Pam Flores, Health Guide
3/ 1/12 12:45pm

Hi Matthew, welcome!  Thanks for adding to the discussion!

Reply
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We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By Linda Tieger, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/01/12, First Published: 03/19/09