Soft Drinks May Cause Menopausal Hip Fractures

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A study published this month in the journal Menopause looked into the relationships between carbonated soft drink consumption, osteoporosis (hip and lumbar spine) and incidental hip fractures. For almost 12 years Kremer et al. followed over 72,000 postmenopausal women from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study.

The results showed no associations between soft drink consumption and hip or lumbar spine bone mineral density – this finding was in contradiction with previous studies that had found an association. Consuming at least 14 carbonated soft drinks per week was associated with incident hip fractures. The relationship was statistically significant for caffeine-free soft drinks but not for caffeinated soft drinks. Interestingly, there was no significant risk if the intake was less than 14 servings per week, suggesting a ‘threshold effect’ rather than a ‘linear dose-response’ relationship. Drinking more than 14 carbonated soft drinks (non-caffeinated) per week led to a 32% increase in risk of hip fracture compared to women that didn’t drink any soft drinks.

The authors postulate that added sugars may have “a negative impact on mineral homeostasis and calcium balance“. Also, the carbonation of soft drinks “results in the formation of carbonic acid that might alter gastric acidity and, consequently, nutrient absorption“.