Elderly women who drink large amounts of coffee may experience greater bone loss than those who do not, according to a new study published in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 2001 (pp. 694-700).

The finding arose from research conducted as part of a larger long-term study of osteoporosis, during which scientists examine the interaction between caffeine intake, genetic type and the disease by compared the bone mineral density (BMD) of women in high and low categories of caffeine consumption.

The study involved 96 women, of an average age of 71 years, who were not taking any Vitamin D or calcium supplements. They were divided according to high (more than 300mg/day) and low (less than 300mg/day) caffeine consumption using 7-day food diaries.

Researchers discovered that the women with high caffeine intake experienced significantly higher rates of bone loss at the spine.