Wed, Jan 18, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Doctor links young woman's cola habit to her osteoporosis

DIET CONNECTION?A doctor who was surprised to discover an active 23-year-old suffering from the disease said that the beverage may be to blame

CNA , TAIPEI

A doctor at Chung Shan Medical University Hospital in Taichung City said yesterday that he believes the habit of drinking one or two bottles of cola every day was the main cause of osteoporosis in a young patient he has been treating since late last year.

Wang Shih-jui (王世叡) said the 23-year-old woman came to the hospital for an checkup after she tumbled and injured her knee in December last year.

Anomalies

An X-ray showed she suffered from a serious loss of bone mass, with a bone density similar to that of women aged between 60 and 70.

The young woman lives a healthy life and follows a strict daily routine that includes regular exercise. She had no bad habits other than drinking one or two bottles of cola every day during the past two years.

The doctor said he suspects drinking the cola soft drink was the main cause for the woman's serious loss of bone mass, because medical research in other countries has shown that cola, which is high in phosphorus, sugar and caffeine, is among the worst foods for people trying to avoid osteoporosis.

Not proven yet

However, he added, more comprehensive research is needed to prove the existence of a link between the soft drink and the disease.

Wang added that women after age 30 begin to lose slightly more bone mass than they form, with the condition further deteriorating after menopause.

Although regular exercise and a healthy diet with sufficient calcium could help retard the onset of osteoporosis, those with the habit of drinking soft drinks should have their bone density checked in order to prevent the disease from developing early in their lives, he said.

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