Coffee Consumption and bone health

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A review of 32 observational studies performed in 20024 indicated no overall negative effect of caffeine on bone health. Potentially negative effects on bone mineral density were recorded mainly in populations with insufficient calcium intake or a very high coffee consumption (over 9 cups per day). The author concluded that there is no evidence that caffeine has any harmful effects on bone or calcium status in subjects who ingest the recommended daily amounts of calcium4.

Four more recent meta analyses5,6,7,8 have been undertaken which show a significant variability in their results.  The heterogeneity in results may be caused by factors associated with different genetic groups, lifestyles and differing geographic locations of participants.

A 2012 meta-analysis of 10 studies suggested an overall association between coffee intake in increasing the risk of fractures, especially for women5.

However, a 2013 meta-analysis of 6 prospective and 6 case control studies provided insufficient evidence that coffee consumption significantly increases hip fracture risk.  The authors did find a significant association between coffee consumption and hip fracture risk amongst subgroups of females, elderly participants and North Americans. The authors concluded that the many confounding factors limited the ability to draw conclusions6.

A further 2013 meta-analysis of 14 studies suggested no significant association between coffee consumption and the risk of hip fracture.   However, individuals who drank 1-4 cups of tea per day appeared to have lower risk of hip fractures7.

A 2014 meta-analysis of 15 studies evaluating the role of coffee consumption in fracture risk suggested that daily consumption of coffee is associated with an increased risk of fractures in women in a dose dependent fashion and a contrasting decreased risk in men8.

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Additional studies assessing the association between coffee consumption and bone mineral density and fracture risk have also provided inconclusive results.

A Swedish longitudinal population-based cohort suggested that there was no evidence of a higher rate of any fracture or hip fracture with increasing coffee consumption.  High coffee consumption was associated with a small reduction in bone mineral density but this did not translate into an increased risk of fracture9.

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