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Question
Posted by: Tempest | 2004/02/05

Does coffee leach calcium out from the body?

I have only two cups of caffinated coffee per day. I try to have these in the morning before I eat anything else because I am afraid that if I drink coffee with my breakfast it will leach out the calcium from my foods. I need to know if coffee does, in fact, have the effect of leaching calcium from the body? And secondly, is my attempts to minimise this (by having the coffee on an empty stomach first thing in the morning) futile, given that there is already calcium in my body from my previous meal?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Tempest
The jury is still out on the question if intakes of large amounts of caffeine will leach calcium out of the body and contribute to osteoporosis. Some studies indicate that this is the case, while other studies did not find this if the subjects did not consume more than those 2 cups of caffeinated coffee a day and also drank at least one glass of milk a day. More recent studies indicate that caffeine does not appear to influence bone loss in healthy women after the menopause. You can certainly drink 2 cups of coffee a day, but I would not have them on an empty stomach in the morning because the caffeine could cause gastritis. Drink the coffee with breakfast which should include some milk or yoghurt (calcium absorption is improved by food intake). If you are worried about osteoporosis, then try taking a calcium supplement such as Calcium Sandoz or Caltrate.
Best regards
DietDoc

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