Coffee can reduce risk of osteoporosis: Study

Drinking up to two cups of coffee a day can significantly reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a bone disease that can lead to higher risk of fractures, a South Korean study showed Wednesday.

Organized and published by the Seoul National University Hospital, the research only analysed symptoms among menopausal women.

It conducted research on 4,066 menopausal women who had been tested for bone density between 2008 and 2011.

According to the study, those who drank less than a single cup of coffee daily had a 21 per cent lower chance of developing osteoporosis compared to those who did not drink coffee at all.

Notably, menopausal women who drank a single cup of coffee a day had a 33 per cent lower chance of developing the condition.

Those who drank two cups of the beverage had a 36 per cent lower chance of developing the disease.

Drinking too much coffee had previously been said to rob the body of necessary nutrients, such as calcium, needed to maintain bone health.

But Dr. Park Sang-min, who organised the research, said drinking coffee can improve a woman's bone health as long as she does not drink it too much. "It is unlikely that a woman would develop osteoporosis by drinking coffee unless she drinks more than three glasses (600 ml) daily," he said.

Menopause is known to increase a woman's risk of developing osteoporosis, as the drop in estrogen levels during and after menopause results in higher bone loss.

Park explained that coffee contains phytoestrogens, which are chemicals found in plants that sometimes act like the hormone estrogen in the human body.

This may help prevent a number of menopausal conditions including osteoporosis.