Calcium and caffeine

Nutrition Expert: Sana Saiyed, Practicing Clinical Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, Mumbai.

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India has been combating the adulteration of milk and milk products, which results in decreased bio-availability of nutrients.

As per a study published by American bone health, caffeine may modestly decrease the absorption of calcium by about 4 mg per cup of coffee. (1)

About 40.6% of the Indian population lacks dietary calcium in critical growth years. Several cross sectional studies have shown osteomalacia in adults. (2)

How does caffeine affects absorption of calcium?

Caffeine acts as a inhibitor of calcium absorption in the body.It was seen that 68% of the employees consumed caffeinated coffee instead of brewed and de-caffeinated. (3)

Caffeine decreases the absoption of calcium in the kidney and intestine by increasing the removal of calcium in urine. Caffeine attaches to calcium which acts as a transporter for converting vitamin D into it’s active form, thus it hinders in vitamin D absorption leading to low density of bones.

How much caffeine is good or bad?

There are so many people who rely on caffeine to kick start their day or for getting their bowel in motion. Caffeine has been in our lives from a really time but how much is good and bad is what we will talk about in this section.

A moderate intake of caffeine for an adult is about 300 mg a day.

Moderate doses of coffee:

Average amount per serving
Instant coffee75mg per 190ml
cup Brewed coffee85mg per 190ml
cup Brewed tea50mg per 190 ml
cup Energy drinks (with added Caffeine or guarana)28-87mg per 250ml glass
Cola drinks (diet or regular)8- 53 mg per 250 ml glass
Some soft drinks24mg per 250ml glass
Chocolate5.5 – 35.5 mg per 50g bar

Recommended dietary allowance for men and women is mentioned below: (4)

GenderDaily RDA
Infant and Children
0-12 months500 mg
1-9 years600mg
10-17 years800 mg
19-70  years600 mg
19-50 years600 mg
Pregnant1200 mg



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