A doctor at Chung Shan Medical University Hospital in Taichung, central Taiwan, said yesterday he believes the habit of drinking one or two bottles of cola every day was the main cause of osteoporosis in a young patient he has been treating since late last year.
Dr. Wang Shih-jui said the 23-year-old woman came to the hospital for an checkup after she tumbled and injured her knee in December last year. An X-ray showed she suffered from a serious loss of bone mass, with a bone density similar to that of women aged between 60 and 70.
The young woman lives a healthy life and follows a strict daily routine that includes regular exercise. She had no bad habits other than drinking one or two bottles of cola every day during the past two years.
The doctor said he suspects drinking the cola soft drink was the main cause for the woman's serious loss of bone mass, because medical research in other countries has shown that cola, which is high in phosphorus, sugar and caffeine, is among the worst foods for people trying to avoid osteoporosis.
However, he added, more comprehensive research is needed to prove the existence of a link between the soft drink and the disease.
Although regular exercise and a healthy diet with sufficient calcium could help retard the onset of osteoporosis, those with the habit of drinking soft drinks should have their bone density checked in order to prevent the disease from developing early in their lives, he said.