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Calcium Supplements & Phosphoric Acid
megmo84 posted:
Hello All,

Phosphoric acid has been implicated for bone loss. As a coke-addict, I've struggled to cut back on cola-type beverages for the sake of my bone health. On the occasions that I do drink colas (for example - a 32 oz serving), I take a calcium carbonate supplement (600 mg) to negate the potentially detrimental effects of the phosphoric acid in the same way a renal patient might take a phosphate-binder. Is there any merit to this strategy -- or am I just nuts?!?

For background - I am a 26 year old female who eats a calcium-rich diet. I consume an additional 1600 mg of calcium from a multivitamin and calcium+D supplement.

Appreciate your feedback!
bonebabe responded:
Your strategy won't hurt, but I don't think it's a huge problem to begin with.

I'm more concerned about the amount of calcium you're ingesting. First, you only need about 1000-1200 mg a day. Second, the body can only absorb 500-600 at a time. You say you're getting 1600 mg from a multivitamin? Are you talking about one pill or a vitamin and a calcium supplement? Just FYI, if you take it all in a single sitting and think you're getting all that calcium, anything over 500 mg is excreted in your urine.

As for the colas, in themselves, other than tasting good and perking you up, they don't do any good. They don't do much harm in moderation either. The biggest concern has been that they can be a diuretic, causing you to excrete calcium and they also replace milk as a drink.
megmo84 replied to bonebabe's response:
To clarify, I take ~1600 mg through a multivitamin and calcium supplement in addition to what I get through foods. I realize that too much calcium is a danger, but I've been trying to counteract the effects of phosphorus and sodium in my diet. (I should mention I eat salty foods.)

As for the illusive term "moderation", would you consider 32 oz of cola per day (in the presence of a calcium-rich diet) a safe amount?

Thanks in advance,
bonebabe replied to megmo84's response:
Personally I don't sweat the cola. You're getting plenty of calcium. I don't think you're taking too much because it's very difficult to absorb as much as people consume.

I drink 12 oz of Diet Coke the 4 days a week that I work. I've not heard anybody address the concept of the calcium counteracting phosphorus and sodium. I think on the grand scale of bone health it's not of high priority.
Amelia_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi megmo84,

It seems that researchers are still unsure of the connection with osteoporosis and sodas. Some believe that soda consumers may have a higher risk of osteoporosis simply from the lack of milk and other nutrient-rich liquids consumed. Others think that that it may be due to the phosphoric acid in soda, although according to WebMD's Osteoporosis & Sodas , "the amount of phosphoric acid in soda is minimal compared to that found in chicken or cheese. And no one's telling women to stop eating chicken."

I would have to agree with bonebabe that you may want to reevaluate your calcium intake. Most people take supplements between 1000-1300 mg without a largely calcium-rich diet. I understand that you are trying to counteract the phosphoric acid theory, but this still has not been proven and your best bet would honestly be only to lower your soda consumption for your health.

Please read the article above for more information and then reach out to your doctor. He/she can give you the best advice as far as your age and medical history on the most beneficial diet plan for you.

I wish you the best and hope that the information helps. Take care and keep up the great work of researching and striving for a healthier you! :)

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