Increased risk of osteoporosis due to caffeine consumption due to calcium loss – medical practice

Risk of osteoporosis from coffee due to calcium loss

According to experts, Germany is one of the European countries with the highest coffee consumption. The average per capita consumption in this country is almost 150 liters per year. Drinking a lot of coffee can be bad for your health. According to a new study, excessive caffeine consumption is linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Researchers from the University of South Australia found in a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology that high doses of caffeine (800 mg) consumed over six hours almost doubled urinary calcium loss. A calcium deficiency can promote osteoporosis.

Advantages and disadvantages of consuming coffee

Dr. Hayley Schultz of the University of South Australia (UniSA) says that as the “coffee culture” grows, it is important for people to understand the effects of what they put into their bodies.

“Caffeine is one of the most commonly consumed recreational drugs in the world, with 80 percent of adults consuming at least one caffeinated drink per day,” the scientist explains in a press release.

“It’s a common stimulant used by professionals, parents, shift workers, and teenagers alike to start their day and stay awake – even the military uses caffeine to combat drowsiness,” said Dr. Schultz.

Although coffee has its advantages, it is also important to recognize its disadvantages – one of them is that more calcium is excreted in the urine through high consumption.

“Our research has shown that people who consume 800 mg of caffeine on a typical work day have a 77 percent increase in calcium in their urine, leading to a potential deficiency that could affect their bones.”

Influence on calcium excretion

Osteoporosis is a chronic, painful disease that weakens bones and makes them more prone to fractures. The disease, which is more common in women, can occur when the bones lose calcium and other minerals faster than the body can replace them.

In the study, the participants chewed caffeine or placebo chewing gum (total caffeine 800 mg) for five minutes at two-hour intervals over a six-hour treatment period.

While the primary research goal was to investigate the influence of caffeine consumption on wakefulness and other factors, this sub-study aimed to evaluate the influence of caffeine consumption on renal calcium excretion.

Some people are particularly at risk

The co-researcher Dr. UniSA’s Stephanie Reuter Lange says understanding the long-term effects of high caffeine consumption is especially important for groups at higher risk.

“The average daily intake of caffeine is around 200 mg – roughly two cups of coffee. Drinking eight cups of coffee may seem like a lot (800 mg caffeine), but there are groups that fall into this category, ”said Dr. Long.

“People at risk could be energy drink-consuming teenagers as their bones are still developing; Professional athletes who use caffeine to improve performance; as well as postmenopausal women who often have low blood calcium levels due to hormonal changes and do not have sufficient daily calcium intake through food, ”explains the scientist.

Preventable disease

“We are also increasingly seeing high levels of caffeine consumption among shift workers who have to stay up at night and among military personnel who use caffeine to combat sleep deprivation on the field,” explains Dr. Long.

“Caffeine in moderation certainly has its advantages. But it’s important to understand how excessive consumption could increase the risk of a very preventable disease like osteoporosis. “

The researchers will study the effects of different amounts of caffeine on short- and long-term bone health and aim to develop dietary guidelines. (ad)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.


  • University of South Australia: Caffeine cuts close to the bone when it comes to osteoporosis, (Abruf: 18.07.2021), University of South Australia
  • Stephanie E Reuter, Hayley B Schultz, Michael B Ward, Crystal L Grant, Gemma M Paech, Siobhan Banks, Allan M Evans: The effect of high-dose, short-term caffeine intake on the renal clearance of calcium, sodium and creatinine in healthy adults; in: British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, (veröffentlicht: 14.04.2021), British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

Important NOTE:
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.


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