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Up with minerals, down with soda

The average American drinks approximately 50 gallons of soda every year. That's over 400 pounds! While most people have heard about the weight gain associated with drinking sugary sodas, not many realize the impact these beverages can have on your bones.

Dr. Lisa Ow, the lead practitioner at Pharmaca in Monterey, explains that the phosphates and gases added to carbonated drinks make them acidic. "When we take in acidic food and drink, our bodies' response is to buffer that with something alkaline," says Dr. Ow. This causes minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium to be pulled from bones where they are stored.

Drinking more water is an ideal alternative, but not everyone can get excited about this option. It is thought that the minerals in sparkling mineral water act to balance out the carbonation, so it seems to be the least problematic of all carbonated beverages. Sodas appear to be the worst because they also contain a lot of sugar, which increases acidity.

To offset the mineral depletions caused by consuming soda, try supplementing with bone healthy formulas, like Jarrow Formulas Bone Up or Natural Factor's Calcium Magnesium Citrate. Dr. Ow recommends choosing the magnesium citrate form of magnesium for general or bone health since it is well absorbed by the body and affordably priced.

For more information about nutrition and your health, visit your local Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy.

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