Is Coffee Bad For My Bones?

Updated: October 17, 2022

coffee beans in a cup on a white table

If you’re like millions- if not billions- of people across the globe, you start your day with coffee.

In fact, the International Coffee Organization estimates that in 2016 we consumed nearly 20 billion pounds of coffee beans!

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way an association between coffee consumption- particularly its caffeine content- and decreased bone mineral density came about. In fact, you may be concerned that your beloved morning cup of Joe could be causing damage to your bones.

In addition to the intoxicating aroma, delicious flavor and jolt of caffeine, drinking coffee actually offers health benefits.

But before we dive into all the incredible health benefits of coffee, let’s address the controversy around coffee and its effects on bone health. Then, we’ll move onto all the incredible health benefits of this beloved beverage.

The Controversy Surrounding Coffee

Despite the lack of scientific evidence, coffee, has been associated with poor bone health for years. While there are some individuals who should not have coffee and/or caffeine due to medical conditions or pregnancy, it’s not necessary to stay away from coffee for the sake of your bones.

Study after study has investigated the claim that coffee causes problems for our bones. And all of them have failed to find any evidence to support this fear. In fact, their findings are just the opposite.

Lara Pizzorno, MDiv, MA, LMT, author of “Your Bones: How You Can Prevent Osteoporosis and Have Strong Bones for Life – Naturally” will explain more below in a wonderfully informative video all about coffee and bone health. But for now, let’s get to the heart of the matter and see what the science really reveals about coffee and bone health.

Papers evaluating the effect of coffee on bone were published by Swedish researchers in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2013, and Korean researchers in the Journal of Korean Family Medicine in 2014. The Swedish researchers looked at whether many years of drinking coffee was related to increased risk of fracture from decreased bone mineral density as people aged. This analysis included data on 61,433 women who were born between 1914 and 1948 and were followed from 1987 to 2008.

In this study, more than 4 cups of coffee per day was considered a “high coffee intake” versus a “low intake” of less than 1 cup of coffee per day. High intake was associated with a very small reduction in bone density, but that reduction did not translate into an increased risk of fracture.

The Korean researchers evaluated the effects of coffee consumption on bone mineral density in premenopausal women. The authors looked at data from the 4th Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This survey was conducted through 2008-2009 and consisted of 1,761 premenopausal women. Researchers found no significant association between coffee consumption and bone mineral density of the femoral neck, the femur, or the lumbar spine. (For more information on menopause and bone health, check out Your Ultimate Guide to Menopause and Its Effect On Your Bones.)

The author of a companion article in the same issue advised limiting coffee consumption to 3 cups per day, since more might be a problem if calcium intake was inadequate. 3 cups a day isn’t too restrictive, but again this restriction was only recommended if calcium intake wasn’t adequate.

In conclusion, there is no strong evidence that coffee will have a significant negative impact on bone mass density and increased fracture rates. What has been repeatedly reported and substantiated is coffee’s many beneficial effects. For instance, coffee protects us against inflammation via numerous mechanisms. Anything that helps prevent chronic inflammation can help lessen your risk of osteoporosis.

coffee and bone health

Can Coffee Increase Urinary Excretion Of Calcium?

Another component of the coffee and bone health controversy involves increased urinary excretion of calcium. It’s true that coffee can increase our urinary excretion of calcium – but only slightly. This can easily be balanced by taking your coffee with some form of calcium-containing milk, regularly eating calcium-rich foods, and taking a good calcium supplement such as AlgaeCal Plus.

Also, it’s important to have adequate vitamin D levels – a good range is 60-80 ng per mL (nanograms per milliliter) of 25OHD. The only way to know where you currently stand and to supplement accordingly is to get tested. Ask your doctor for a Vitamin D test. And discover more about the exciting benefits of vitamin D, here.

Caffeinated vs. Decaffeinated Coffee

No coffee-related controversy would be complete without discussing caffeinated versus decaffeinated coffee. For those who love coffee, but cannot tolerate caffeine, decaffeinated coffee is their go-to. Then, there are coffee purists who wouldn’t even consider decaf coffee.

Whichever camp you fall into, or anywhere along the spectrum for that matter, decaffeinated coffee is simply coffee beans that have roughly 97% of their caffeine removed prior to roasting. This is typically done with water, carbon dioxide (CO2) and/or chemical solvents. While this may slightly change the color and aroma of decaffeinated coffee beans, it doesn’t impact their nutrition.

When it comes to bone health, there is speculation- not concrete studies- that since decaf coffee tends to be a specific type of coffee bean naturally higher in acid, it could have a negative impact on bones. Again, there is no study proving this, so it’s no reason to switch to caffeinated coffee or give up coffee altogether. Lara Pizzorno will also share more information about decaffeinated coffee in her video below.

Lara Pizzorno Discusses Coffee and Bone Health

Hello, I’m Lara Pizzorno the author of “Your Bones” and I’m here today to provide information to you that I hope will help you have healthy bones. Today the topic of our conversation is coffee, one of my favorite drinks, and the question is, is it safe for your bones?

Just a couple of weeks ago I heard from a woman with osteopenia who wanted to know if she should give up her morning cup of coffee and she wrote me the following:

“Would you be able to share with me what might have turned up about coffee consumption after all your research on osteoporosis. I’m so confused about whether or not a cup of coffee or two or three cups is harmful or not. I’m osteopenic and have a lot of back pain due to a series of auto accidents. Coffee helps to clear my head in the morning and also seems to reduce my pain.”

The Benefits of Coffee

Drinking several cups of coffee daily is not only just fine, but actually highly beneficial for most people.

Those of us who have trouble detoxifying caffeine will do best with decaffeinated coffee, but even decaffeinated coffee contains highly protective anti-inflammatory compounds that help prevent type 2 diabetes, several types of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Coffee really helps with these conditions.

Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

People who drink 4 or more cups of coffee daily have a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

How does coffee lower your risk of type 2 diabetes?

Because of two categories of compounds that are found in coffee caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid. These protect cells in the pancreas that produce and secrete insulin. In addition, coffee increases the secretion of a hormone called adiponectin, which is secreted by fat cells and is involved in regulating food sugar levels and in burning fatty acids. Higher levels of adiponectin can be protective against not just type 2 diabetes but obesity and atherosclerosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Lowers Inflammation

If you’ve read “Your Bones” you know that in each of these conditions there is a component of chronically increased inflammation and thus all of them increase the activation of osteoclasts and increase the risk for osteoporosis.

So coffee, by helping to prevent them, is helping to protect your bones. And coffee also lowers another hormone secreted by fat cells that promote inflammation called leptin, chronically elevated leptin levels are associated with obesity, overeating, and inflammation related diseases including, here we go again, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and most important to us, osteoporosis.

Coffee also lowers another marker of inflammation called high sensitivity C Reactive Protein (hs-CRP) and in many studies on bone, one of the things that they checked to see if bone resorption is occurring too rapidly, is that they check levels of hs-CRP.

Provides Key Antioxidants

Other constituents in coffee 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid or CGA and methyl pyridinium, MNP, triggered the activation of a key antioxidant, so an anti-inflammatory pathway called the NERF-2 antioxidant response element.

This is a detox pathway that is involved with the activation of some of our most important internally produced antioxidant enzymes the glutathione transferases. So these help lower inflammation in the body and thus help to protect our bones from excessive activation of osteoclasts based on serving size or daily units, coffee contains larger amounts of these very beneficial phenolic phytochemicals than does tea or even red wine.

In fact, just drinking one cup of coffee causes an increase in the resistance of our LDL cholesterol to free radical damage, which is the first step in the development of atherosclerosis. Coffee’s protective effects on cholesterol are probably a result of the incorporation of coffee’s phenolic acids into LDL. Recent studies have shown that coffee lowers risk of all-cause mortality. Translated into English, this means death from all causes.

Lowers Risk of Death From All Causes

A recent study (August 2017) published in the Annual Review of Nutrition reviewed 127 meta-analyses to evaluate associations between coffee and caffeine exposure and various health outcomes. Most of the evidence came from meta-analyses of observational studies, and some from meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Comparisons of pooled analyses of observational studies and RCTs were possible only for blood pressure and hypertension, and low birth weight; the findings for these analyses were inconclusive. Based on these results, there is probable evidence of the beneficial effects of coffee consumption for a number of chronic diseases, including some cancers (endometrial, prostate, colorectal, and liver), cardiovascular disease and metabolic-related outcomes (such as type-2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome), and neurological conditions (such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression).

Among the studies providing dose-response analyses, some relations were linear but others showed the lowest risk at about 4–5 cups/day. Adverse effects were limited mainly to pregnancy-related outcomes ONLY following caffeine intake, not related to the other components in coffee, as controls were administered decaffeinated coffee.

So the key takeaways were this:

  • Coffee consumption has beneficial effects for a number of chronic diseases, including cancers, and cardiovascular, metabolic and neurological conditions
  • The dose-response effect in most meta-analyses was linear, with the lowest risk reached with the consumption of about 4-5 cups/day
  • Adverse effects were mainly limited to pregnancy-related outcomes associated with caffeine intake rather than other components of coffee
  • Evidence retrieved for other potential adverse effects, such as lung and gastric cancers, were found to be due to the confounding effect of smoking

Further results of a very impressive, very large study showing that coffee helps lower risk of death from all causes was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in May of 2012. This was a very large study involving 229,119 men and 173,141 women who were participants in the National Institutes of Health AARP Diet and Health Study and were 50-71 years of age at baseline.

When the researchers compared the risk of death of those who drank coffee compared to those who did not, they found it was 10% lower for men drinking 2-3 cups of coffee per day and 12% lower for men that drank 4 cups. Among women, the reduction of risk of death from all causes was even greater, 13% for 2-3 cups and 16% for 4-5 cups.

But are there any other benefits of coffee? Let’s find out…

Vitamin and Mineral Composition of Coffee

Coffee obviously is not a great source of vitamins and minerals but as a plant-based drink, it does contain some and a few that we should be getting more of. Let’s start with magnesium.

A cup of coffee provides:

  • Magnesium: About 7 mg of magnesium, which is a drop in the daily requirement bucket. But because we don’t eat enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains the average American’s intake fall about 100 mg short of the daily goal recommended for magnesium intake. And a cup of coffee can help close that gap a little.
  • Potassium: A cup of coffee also provides about 116 mg of potassium, which can help offset some of the negative consequences of the excessive amounts of sodium in all the processed foods that most of us eat. And about 116 mg of potassium per cup, coffee’s contribution towards the 4700 mg of potassium we are supposed to be getting daily is quite tiny, but it’s still something.
  • B Vitamins: And a cup of coffee also has tiny amounts of niacin, choline as well, two B vitamins that are very beneficial for numerous reasons.

The Bottom Line on Coffee

As you can see, you can still enjoy your morning (and afternoon) coffee and have healthy bones.

In fact, drinking coffee may actually help improve your bone health! So don’t worry about having that cup, or two or three each day– so long as you’re not dousing it in bone-depleting sugar!

That said, the best route to healthy bones is a healthy diet with lots of calcium rich-foods, along with an active lifestyle. Better still, add in the world’s only calcium supplement guaranteed to increase bone density each year. It’s guilt-free as well: coming from a natural, plant-based calcium source that also contains all 13 trace minerals your bones need for optimal density.

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  1. Lisa Pruett

    May 20, 2016 , 9:50 am

    I have shared your book with my older female friends and they were amazed. They are grateful and empowered to be on the road to true bone health now after reading your book. Engrossing, & easy to read and understand.

  2. Judy MacDonnell

    May 20, 2016 , 3:31 pm

    I’d rather not get involved in the ‘coffee culture’! My choice, not necessarily yours, obviously, and I am not here to make any kind of judgment. I just don’t like the idea of being addicted to anything. My idea of a healthy lifestyle is a GOOD (vegan, lotsa fruit and veg and tasty things) diet, exercise, fresh air, sunshine and lots of water. I kicked bone loss with AlgaeCal and am very grateful for that. But I don’t need coffee. Seems that all the negatives (or minor negatives) of coffee have to be offset by something else added in. I can’t be bothered!

  3. Donald

    May 21, 2016 , 7:18 am

    Well this is very good news indeed because my mother who has bone loss is now taking the algaecal Plus and we are trying to get her bones built back up while I had heard before that coffee was bad for your bones this is a very refreshing look from the other side. My mother and father both my mother 80 years old and my father 85 respectively have always been heavy coffee drinkers. And for the most part they have always been quite healthy and still are it’s just that there are a few things that need attention. I did more research and more research and found the algaecal Plus and the study and boost so far we’ve only tried the algaecal plus and I mention to be 4 after about 2 weeks she started having stomach pains and phlegm in her bowels. I don’t know if you have any idea what may have caused this but I want her to try now that we have that under control to restart the algaecal Plus and see if we can get through a regiment of at least six months without any more stomach discomfort or phlegm. If you might happen to know what may have caused that side effect I would appreciate any guidance so that we may take steps to avoid it in the future. Thank you much for all your research and I will keep you guys posted as to her progress. Sincerely Donald

  4. Monica

    May 23, 2016 , 4:02 am

    Hi Donald,
    What you can do is start your mother with a smaller dose (2 capsules per day) to begin with and work her way up to the 4 capsules per day. Make sure she is eating a meal with her AlgaeCal Plus as well.

    Let us know if you have any further questions! You can always call or email us here:

    – Monica @ AlgaeCal

  5. C. Stewart

    January 16, 2017 , 5:45 pm

    While I am glad to be reassured about coffee as I drink it every morning – despite having osteoporosis-, recommending that people offset any negative implications for bones by taking it with cow’s milk is contradicted by the “Save our Bones” program which claims, based on research that the calcium in milk is negated because milk is acidifying to the bones. You would be better off using soy, almond or rice milk to offset the acidifying effects of coffee. Also you do not mention the theory put forward by “Save our bones” that osteoporosis is the result of a diet imbalance between acidifying foods and alkalizing ones, the former food being responsible for leaching calcium from bones in order to restore a normal Ph level.. Do you support this theory?

  6. Lara Pizzorno

    January 23, 2017 , 8:37 am

    Hi C. Stewart,

    Response 1/2 (It looks like my initial comment is ‘too long’ to post all at once, so I will post the second half below this)

    A little milk in your coffee will not “acidify your bones” and cause bone loss

    The bottom line:

    Yes, a diet whose overall result is the promotion of an acidic pH in the body will trigger calcium’s withdrawal from our bones to re-establish the slightly alkaline pH our bodies require to function properly.
    (1) the presence of an acidic pH in the body (a state referred to in the medical literature as metabolic acidosis) is only one of many factors in our modern environment, diet and lifestyle that contributes to bone loss, certainly not the only factor, and

    (2) the ounce or two of cow’s milk you would add to a cup of coffee is so far from a meaningful contribution to the development of metabolic acidosis as to be completely insignificant.
    Relax and enjoy your coffee with a little milk added – whether the milk you prefer is cow’s milk or a calcium-fortified soy, almond, or coconut milk makes virtually no difference.

    A full explanation:

    It’s Time to Dispel Another Urban Myth: “Cow’s Milk is a Major Cause of Bone Loss” (Not True!)

    It is true that an acidic pH in the body (metabolic acidosis) promotes bone loss because it results in calcium being withdrawn from bone to restore a slightly alkaline pH.
    It is not true that adding a bit of cow’s milk to your morning coffee or a bowl of cereal is going to plunge your body into a state of metabolic acidosis. This is simply ludicrous.
    First of all, it is the excessive consumption of animal-derived protein (i.e., from meats, fish, eggs — not just dairy foods!) that promotes, but does not necessarily result in, an acidic pH. The combined effects of ALL the foods you regularly consume will determine whether your diet results in metabolic acidosis.
    Secondly, numerous other factors in the SAD, besides its overly high animal protein content, contribute just as much or more to excessive osteoclast activity and the loss of calcium from our bones.

    What is metabolic acidosis?

    In the human body, the pH of different cellular compartments, bodily fluids, and organs is tightly regulated because virtually all normal cellular functions cannot occur properly unless the pH is just slightly alkaline. Except in the stomach and pancreas, which must secrete gastric acid and pancreatic enzymes, respectively, to enable us to digest food, our bodies are constantly at work to maintain a slightly alkaline pH of 7.35. Metabolic acidosis, the most commonly seen disruption of healthy pH regulation, is an acid overload in the body, which causes the pH to fall below 7.35. When this happens, calcium is withdrawn from our bones and circulated throughout the body in the bloodstream to re-establish a slightly alkaline pH. Pizzorno J, Frassetto LA, Katzinger J. Diet-induced acidosis: is it real and clinically relevant? Br J Nutr. 2010 Apr;103(8):1185-94. doi: 10.1017/S0007114509993047. Epub 2009 Dec 15. PMID: 20003625

    What causes metabolic acidosis?

    A diet too high in acid-forming foods overall – not consumption of a little cow’s milk in your coffee!

    Each food you consume contributes a net acid or base (alkaline) effect, which is derived from the balance between the acid-forming and alkaline (base-forming) components it contains.
    Acid-forming constituents are released when dietary proteins rich in the amino acids methionine and cysteine (proteins that are concentrated in all foods derived from animals, i.e., from meats, eggs, and fish, not just dairy products), are metabolized (broken down).

    Alkaline (base-forming) constituents, such as bicarbonate, are produced from our bodies’ metabolism of the potassium salts in plant foods. All those websites that tell you to just take baking soda so you won’t develop metabolic acidosis are giving you a short cut that cuts out your receiving all the other bone-essential minerals and bone-protective phytonutrients in plant foods. Baking soda is not an optimal solution for your bones; eating plenty of vegetables and fruits is.

    Although some plant foods (e.g., soybeans) also contain methionine and/or cysteine, these acid-forming amino acids are found in much smaller concentrations in protein-rich plant foods than in protein-rich foods derived from animals. In addition, unlike foods derived from animals, plant foods are rich in potassium, so their net effect, which is what you care about since this is where the proverbial tire meets your metabolic road, is to produce an alkaline pH in the human body. Pizzorno J, Frassetto LA, Katzinger J. Diet-induced acidosis: is it real and clinically relevant? Br J Nutr. 2010 Apr;103(8):1185-94. doi: 10.1017/S0007114509993047. Epub 2009 Dec 15. PMID: 20003625

    If your overall diet contains plenty of potassium-rich plant foods along with some acid-forming animal-derived foods – including that wee bit of milk in your coffee — its net effect will also be to produce an alkaline pH in the body.

    Unfortunately, the typical diet consumed today is so overloaded with animal flesh foods and so lacking in vegetables that modern man has a “net endogenous acid production” or “NEAP” problem. Our hominid ancestors are thought to have eaten a diet that resulted in a much lower overall acid load or NEAP than we do today.

    In a recent study estimating the acid load of 159 hypothetical pre-agricultural diets, 87% were found to be alkaline or base-producing, with an average NEAP of negative 88 mEq/d. In comparison, calculations from the US Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) found the average American diet to be acid-producing, with a NEAP of positive 48 mEq/d. Obviously, this 60% shift is a major increase in the amount of acid our bodies are now forced to neutralize – and is not the result of enjoying a wee bit of cow’s milk in your coffee, but of the Standard American Diet, which contains far too much meat and far too little vegetables. Pizzorno J, Frassetto LA, Katzinger J. Diet-induced acidosis: is it real and clinically relevant? Br J Nutr. 2010 Apr;103(8):1185-94. doi: 10.1017/S0007114509993047. Epub 2009 Dec 15. PMID: 20003625

  7. Lara Pizzorno

    January 23, 2017 , 8:37 am

    …2/2 continued

    Too much animal protein causes bone loss—with one exception: dairy foods

    Calcium-balance studies have confirmed that calcium excretion in urine increases with high-protein diets: 0.25 mmol of calcium is lost for every 10 grams of protein consumed. However, the increased incidence of fractures seen in subjects with high protein intake typically occurs in those consuming nondairy animal protein. Why? Because the high concentration of calcium in dairy foods offsets its protein-induced loss. Emkey RD, Emkey GR. Calcium metabolism and correcting calcium deficiencies. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2012 Sep;41(3):527-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ecl.2012.04.019. Epub 2012 May 30. PMID: 22877428

    Getting enough calcium can help prevent bone loss due to a diet too high in animal protein

    Several studies have indicated that “protein and calcium act synergistically on bone—if both are present in adequate quantities in the diet,” and that only when calcium intake is low, does calcium loss caused by animal protein become a problem.
    Dawson-Hughes B, Harris SS. Calcium intake influences the association of protein intake with rates of bone loss in elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Apr;75(4):773-9. PMID: 11916767
    Heaney RP. Protein and calcium: antagonists or synergists? Calcium intake influences the association of protein intake with rates of bone loss in elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Apr;75(4):609-10. PMID: 11916747

    Research conducted in postmenopausal women supports this reasoning. A study of 36,217 postmenopausal women in France found no association between total protein intake and fracture risk in those whose calcium intake was fairly high (more than 600 mg of calcium per 1,000 calories consumed). However, when calcium intake was low (less than 400 mg of calcium per 1,000 calories), a high protein diet was associated with a 66% increased risk of fracture. Dargent-Molina P, Sabia S, Touvier M, et al. Proteins, dietary acid load, and calcium and risk of postmenopausal fractures in the E3N French women prospective study. J Bone Miner Res 2008;23(12):1915–22. PMID:18665794

    And just this past week, another study was published on-line ahead of print in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition again showing, this time in 746 postmenopausal Caucasian women, average age 65, that there is “a beneficial effect of animal and dairy protein intakes on bone strength and microstructure.” The key benefit was an increase in bone strength — what the medical literature refers to as “bone failure load,” meaning how much stress can the bone handle without fracture. A higher failure load at the wrist and shinbone was positively associated with total, animal, and dairy protein intakes, but not with vegetable protein intake. Stronger, more flexible microstructures in both cortical and trabecular bone correlated with the improvements in bone strength. And, the average dietary calcium and protein intake in study participants with a higher “bone failure load” was greater than amounts recommended for women of this age.
    Durosier-Izart C, Biver E, Merminod F, et al. Peripheral skeleton bone strength is positively correlated with total and dairy protein intakes in healthy postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Jan 11. pii: ajcn134676. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.134676. [Epub ahead of print]

    Another paper, published in the Journal of Nutrition December 2016, showed that even taking as much as 60 grams per day of supplemental whey protein along with a diet high in protein did not negatively – or beneficially — affect bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC: total body, lumbar spine, total femur, and femoral neck) in overweight and Class I obese* middle-aged adults who were following an exercise intervention in a 9-month study. The researchers had hoped whey protein might induce bone formation (i.e., increase BMD/BMC) because of whey protein’s basic component, milk basic protein. No benefits, but no harm.
    (*Overweight (not obese), if BMI is 25.0 to 29.9. Class 1 (low-risk) obesity, if BMI is 30.0 to 34.9. Class 2 (moderate-risk) obesity, if BMI is 35.0 to 39.9. Class 3 (high-risk) obesity, if BMI is equal to or greater than 40.0.)
    Wright CS, McMorrow AM, Weinheimer-Haus EM, et al. Whey Protein Supplementation and Higher Total Protein Intake Do Not Influence Bone Quantity in Overweight and Obese Adults Following a 36-wk Exercise and Diet Intervention. J Nutr. 2016 Dec 21. pii: jn240473. doi: 10.3945/jn.116.240473. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 28003538

    The Real SAD Drivers of Bone Loss

    In addition to its excessive consumption of conventionally raised (and therefore high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids) animal protein, the SAD is loaded with processed oils (also loaded with pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids), salt, refined sugars, refined grains (primarily wheat, which contains the highly antigenic, pro-inflammatory protein, gluten), and phosphate additives – each of which promotes bone loss through a wide variety of mechanisms.
    Nordin BE, Need AG, Morris HA, et al. The nature and significance of the relationship between urinary sodium and urinary calcium in women. J Nutr. 1993 Sep;123(9):1615-22. PMID: 8360790
    Tsanzi E, Fitch CW, Tou JC. Effect of consuming different caloric sweeteners on bone health and possible mechanisms. Nutr Rev. 2008 Jun;66(6):301-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2008.00037.x. PMID: 18522618
    Uribarri J, Calvo MS. Dietary phosphorus excess: a risk factor in chronic bone, kidney, and cardiovascular disease? Adv Nutr. 2013 Sep 1;4(5):542-4. doi: 10.3945/an.113.004234. PMID: 24038251
    Pizzorno L. Canaries in the Phosphate-Toxicity Coal Mines. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2014 Dec;13(6):24-32. PMID: 26770122 PMCID: PMC4566440
    Casado-Díaz A, Santiago-Mora R, Dorado G, et al. The omega-6 arachidonic fatty acid, but not the omega-3 fatty acids, inhibits osteoblastogenesis and induces adipogenesis of human mesenchymal stem cells: potential implication in osteoporosis. Osteoporos Int. 2013 May;24(5):1647-61. doi: 10.1007/s00198-012-2138-z. Epub 2012 Oct 27. PMID: 23104199
    Samsel A, Seneff S. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases III: Manganese, neurological diseases, and associated pathologies. Surg Neurol Int. 2015 Mar 24;6:45. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.153876. eCollection 2015. PMID: 25883837 PMCID: PMC4392553 DOI: 10.4103/2152-7806.153876
    Pizzorno J. The Toxin Solution. Harper Collins: NY, February 2017.

    If you enjoy a bit of milk in your coffee, you can safely ignore the scare tactics claiming that cow’s milk is such a threat to our bones that even an ounce or two in a cup of coffee should be fervently shunned. It’s best not to guzzle down a quart of cow’s milk every day though – not because it will “acidify your bones,” but because the sugar in cow’s milk, lactose, is broken down during digestion into two sugars, glucose and galactose. And too much galactose promotes inflammation. If you enjoy drinking more than one glass of cow’s milk per day regularly, switch to lactose-free cow’s milk and galactose will no longer be an issue. For the full discussion of this research, see

    Having an ounce or two of cow’s milk in your morning coffee is not going to cause bone loss. Eating a diet centered around factory farm meats, and processed “food-like items” (I refuse to call them foods) that are loaded with salt, refined grains, refined sugars, phosphates, dozens of chemical additives and pesticide residues definitely does. The SAD drives not just metabolic acidosis, but chronic inflammation and causes bone loss in so many ways that in writing my – almost finished — next book on bone health, 25 pages are devoted to just summarizing the bone-busting effects of the SAD for you.

    If you want to protect your bones against metabolic acidosis:

    – Stop eating SAD.
    – Avoid the processed food-pretenders like the plague they are.
    – Enjoy some organic milk — of whatever variety you prefer – in your coffee. The tiny amount of cow’s milk those who prefer it will add to a cup of coffee is so insignificant; it is not going to cause a problem for anyone. I use organic soy milk myself because I prefer its taste, but I eat plenty of full fat, organic dairy products from pastured cows – butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheeses – virtually every day.
    – If you are not allergic to dairy foods, enjoy one or two servings of full-fat, calcium-rich organic dairy foods from pastured cows, sheep or goats. You want full-fat products from pastured cows because they will contain two healthy anti-inflammatory, bone-protective fats: omega-3s and conjugated linolenic acid. Yogurt also provides an abundance of friendly (probiotic) bacteria that will enhance the health of your digestive system, and you can’t effectively digest and absorb the nutrients your bones require without a healthy digestive tract! Lastly, a number of full fat cheeses, such as certain blue cheeses and Emmenthaler, contain some vitamin K2.
    – Limit meat consumption to two 4-ounce servings per day of products certified organic and derived from pastured animals.
    – Instead of drinking nasty tasting baking soda concoctions, consume 8-10 or more daily servings of delicious leafy green, orange, red, yellow, gold and purple vegetables, and fruits. In addition to keeping your pH happily alkalinized, you’ll get a veritable rainbow of bone-blessing phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals.

    – Lara

  8. Slymet

    June 25, 2017 , 1:19 pm

    I am not interested in partaking coffee either because of its addicting qualities and its high acidic content, but to each his own. I’ve ordered the AlgaCal and the strontium and look forward to trying it out.

  9. Monica

    June 26, 2017 , 10:42 am

    Hi Slymet,

    Great to hear you’ll be trying AlgaeCal Plus and Strontium Boost! If you have any questions during your bone health journey, please let us know 🙂

    – Monica

  10. Carolyn

    August 7, 2017 , 4:40 pm

    I was diagnosis with osteoporosis two years ago with a -2.8 T score. My Doctor wanted to prescribe a bone drug. I researched and found some very serious and troubling side effects and did not want to take. I stopped drinking coffee for two years ( I read that caffeine was bad and leaches calcium from ones bones) I walked on average 20- 25 miles a week( then recently read that walking wasn’t considered a weighing bearing exercise and was taking pharmacy grade supplements for bones. Recently had another bone density and my T score is now -2.9. I’m not certain what to do next.

  11. Monica

    August 8, 2017 , 9:22 am

    Hi Carolyn,

    Sorry to hear about your continued bone loss. As you’ve now read/watched Lara Pizzorno’s research, you know that coffee and caffeine in moderation is not detrimental to bone health. To note, walking is considered a weight bearing exercise as you are literally bearing your own weight and working against gravity. Other weight bearing exercises include hiking, jogging, climbing stairs etc.

    If you’d like to call in and speak to a Bone Health Advisor, they can go through your current bone health regimen and see what may be best for you. You can call in toll-free: 1-800-820-0184 from Monday through Friday: 6am to 4pm (PST) and Saturday & Sunday: 8am to 2pm (PST).

    Look forward to hearing from you!

    – Monica @ AlgaeCal

  12. Carol

    August 26, 2017 , 9:58 am

    My OB-GYN, who does bone scans I had one put me on AlgaeCal . I was taking the 4 algaecal tab a day. a couple of months into this, my DDS, who has a Masters in Nutrition, noted that I have CA++ build up on my lower front teeth, indicating excretion of CA in my saliva. She said she had the same issue. I have since reduced CA to 2 a day….. Question is do you hear of this often?

  13. Monica

    August 28, 2017 , 8:38 am

    Hi Carol,

    This is definitely not typical of AlgaeCal and something I’ve personally never heard of. However, if you are experiencing this it is best to discontinue use for 1-2 weeks and then gradually reintroduce at smaller doses (like you have done) to see if you notice any changes.

    It seems that the two common causes are the following: a lack of dietary calcium and vitamins and deposition of minerals from your saliva (which you have mentioned). However, you should discuss dental advice with your dentist to see if they can pinpoint the cause.

    If you’d like to call in to speak to a Bone Health Consultant, they can also discuss any additional questions you may have or explain the reintroduction of AlgaeCal process further. You can call 1-800-820-0184 from Monday through Friday: 6am to 4pm (PST), Saturday: 8am to 4pm (PST) and Sunday: 8am to 2pm (PST).

    – Monica @ AlgaeCal

  14. Diane pozdol

    November 7, 2018 , 5:48 pm

    So great the news about the coffee! How about red wine I have read 2 glasses a day is good for your bones.I hope that to be true because I have 2 a day and also have osteoporosis! I have also read the opposite!

  15. Jenna AlgaeCal

    November 12, 2018 , 2:02 pm

    Hi Diane,

    Completely agree – great news! And we have good news about wine too ??

    Alcohol in moderation has been shown to benefit our bone health. Red wine, in particular, has also been identified from the Framingham Osteoporosis Study to be beneficial to bone health in women. You can learn more about this here.

    – Jenna @ AlgaeCal

  16. Toni

    October 25, 2020 , 10:28 pm

    Hi. Great article. I was wondering if you could help. I have osteopenia and my cholesterol reading was 5, so I would like to reduce that too. I am quite a heavy coffee drinker, about 15 a day and I always have 2 teaspoons of double cream in it.
    I introduced the cream to help with my bones, but is it affecting my cholesterol and is my coffee intake too high and outweighing any benefits.
    I exercise daily; weight bearing and walking and have a diet full of fish and olive oil.
    I have been trying to find any information but it is a minefield!
    Many thanks.

  17. Blaire AlgaeCal

    October 27, 2020 , 10:42 am

    Hi Toni,

    Thanks for reaching out to us!

    While coffee offers great benefits, it’s always important to avoid excessive amounts of anything. Coffee recommendations differ based on body weight, but researchers suggest limiting coffee to 3 cups a day. Lowering your intake of coffee will also lower your intake of cream, which should help your cholesterol. You could even try swapping cream for a calcium source lower in fat such as almond milk, and swapping coffee for a lower caffeine drink such as green tea! You may also find it beneficial to work with a dietician to determine the healthiest diet for you. Hope that helps! ❤️

    – Blaire @ AlgaeCal

  18. Norma

    January 19, 2022 , 3:47 pm

    Sorry, I would start drinking half of what you drink then stop your caffeine consumption.
    Caffeine is not good.

  19. Linda Enger

    October 28, 2023 , 8:36 pm

    but nothing in article mentioned about adrenals, breast health, nervous system…parts are parts and Coffee like so many other food, drinks, supplements have various interactions with our bodies 🙂

  20. Kendra AlgaeCal

    October 30, 2023 , 2:52 pm

    Thanks for the feedback, Linda! You’re absolutely right, coffee will have various interactions with our bodies! We try to focus our articles on bone health, as our expertise is limited to that! Of course, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us again! We’re always here to help 🙂 – Kendra

This article features advice from our industry experts to give you the best possible info through cutting-edge research.

Lara Pizzorno
MDiv, MA, LMT - Best-selling author of Healthy Bones Healthy You! and Your Bones; Editor of Longevity Medicine Review, and Senior Medical Editor for Integrative Medicine Advisors.,
Dr. Liz Lipski
PhD, CNS, FACN, IFMP, BCHN, LDN - Professor and Director of Academic Development, Nutrition programs in Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.,
Dr. Loren Fishman
MD, B.Phil.,(oxon.) - Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Founder of the Yoga Injury Prevention Website.,
Prof. Didier Hans
PHD, MBA - Head of Research & Development Center of Bone Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV, Switzerland,