Harvard Women's Health Watch

By the way, doctor: Does carbonated water harm bones?

Q. I've heard that club soda, seltzer water, and sparkling mineral waters rob the bones of calcium. Is this true?

A. Warnings about the harmful effects of carbonated beverages on bone emerge from time to time. The theory is that the phosphoric acid (phosphate) used to enhance flavor in some carbonated beverages can interfere with calcium absorption and result in the loss of calcium from bone. Fortunately, there's no good evidence that a high phosphate intake affects bone metabolism or bone density.

Still, carbonated beverages have long been associated with low bone density and fractures in adolescent girls. To investigate this association in adults, researchers at Tufts University examined data from 2,500 women and men (ages 49 to 69) involved in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. They assessed dietary intake and measured bone mineral density (BMD) at the spine and hip.

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