Researchers at Brown University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Tufts Medical Center studied over 2100 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The study found that patients, particularly men who drank sugary soft drinks showed worse narrowing of the joint space in their knees – a significant symptom of osteoarthritis. While being overweight or obese are risk factors for osteoarthritis, this study found that men who weighed less, or had a lower BMI showed worse knee damage if they drank more soda compared to the more overweight men. Dr. Bing Lu, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and lead investigator suggests that soft drinks may cause damage independent of the wear and tear brought on by overweight and obesity. The researchers believe the caffeine found in many soft drinks can be considered a risk factor for osteoporosis. “Soft drinks may contain phosphoric acid, which has shown to interfere with calcium absorption and to contribute to imbalances that lead to additional loss of calcium. It has also been suggested that the high fructose corn syrup used to sweeten carbonated beverages may negatively affect bone,” adds Lu.

It is interesting to note that of the women tested, those with the lowest BMI numbers and heavier soft-drink consumption showed worse symptoms of knee osteoarthritis……   HuffPost Healthy Living   11/20/12

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