Diet Soda Drinking Decreases Calcium and Bone Density

By Madison Park
posted with permission

It may contain zero calories, no sugar, and provide a superficial energy boost to your brain, but diet soda drains calcium and phosphorous from your body, according to a preliminary study presented at a medical convention.

A study from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center reported that healthy women who drank diet cola excrete more calcium and phosphorous than non-cola drinkers.

The findings were presented by Dr. Noelle Larson in a presentation at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in June and focused only on diet soda. She focused on diet cola mainly because of observations that young women tend to drink large amounts of diet cola.

In the study, 20 healthy women were randomized to drink 24 ounces of water or diet cola on two different days. Their urine was collected repeatedly up to three hours later. Those who drank diet cola excreted more calcium and phosphorous than the control group. The mean calcium excretion three hours after drinking cola was 6.85 milligrams higher than after drinking water. Mean phosphorous excretion was 41 milligrams higher in the cola group than the control group, according to the abstract.

Calcium and phosphorus are both important nutrients that work together to build strong bones and teeth. Previous studies have reported that cola drinkers (both diet and regular soda) have lower bone mineral density and increased fracture rate compared to non-cola drinkers.

“Our study suggests that diet cola ingestion may result in a negative calcium balance acutely in young, otherwise healthy women,” wrote Larson and her colleagues in the abstract. “This may help explain the clinically observed decrease in [bone mineral density] and increased fracture rate in women who consume these drinks regularly.”


  1. Yep you can thank Searle

  2. Hi! I'm fairly new to this blog and have really been enjoying it. But today I am dismayed to see an ad for pregnancy and baby advice by nestle under the google ads section. That seems to undermine everything you are posting about natural parenting and breastfeeding. Nestle unethically and greedily markets formula all over the world.

  3. You are absolutely correct, Andrea. Unfortunately, we've had to block ads ONE at a time by submitting the exact URL for the ad that we wish Google to block. This has proven to be a never ending process as there are so many artificial feeding ads out there. As a result, we are now looking at options to go ad-free and still cover this part of our budget (as an entirely non-profit organization).

    If you see a URL in the meantime that needs to be blocked, you can email it to peacefulparents @

  4. GREAT article, DrMomma! I have heard that calcium loss can be attributed to carbonated water (which is in both regular and diet sodas). Have you seen anything in the science literature to attest to this? Thank you for ALL that you do!! :) Cheers, -Susan



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