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Bubbles in seltzer are not “bad to the bone”

Learn five facts on seltzer and bone health.

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Maybe you’ve heard that seltzer is bad for your bones. Yeah, plain old sparkling water with its nose-tingling, fizzy bubbles. How could that be?

Seltzer usually has no calories. It’s made when carbon dioxide gas is dissolved in plain water. (This is called carbonation.) 

Before you ditch your bubbly friend, let’s look at some facts.

Cola, not carbonation

In 2006, the Framingham Osteoporosis study looked at soft drinks and bone strength. It found that women who were past menopause and drank cola had thinner hip bones. 

The key word here is “cola.” Women who did not drink colas did not show more bone loss. Carbonation by itself does not damage your bones.

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Get a bone density scan

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Make an appointment now. 

Find care in your state 

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Cut the caffeine and sugar

So if it’s not carbonation, what is it? The same study says caffeine may be the problem. Sweeteners in colas may also cause bones to thin. 

“It's a good idea to replace sodas and other sweet drinks with fizzy water. It's  better for your bones and all-around health," said Joshua Jacobs, MD, Optum Care. "Personally, I cut back on sugary drinks a year ago. I have not gone back.” 

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Women are more likely to get osteoporosis

Females have smaller bones and have a higher chance of getting osteoporosis. Women may also be more sensitive to the effects of cola than men.

Speaking up to the bone thief

Osteoporosis has been called the “silent thief of bone.” But it can be stopped. To find it, you need a bone density scan. 

A bone density scan can show how quickly you’re losing bone. It will also help determine your chances of breaking a bone. 

The scan is painless and only takes 10‒15 minutes. Medicare Part B and most insurance plans cover it.  

“A bone density scan is one of the best ways to know if your bones are healthy," said Dr. Jacobs. "I suggest it to my female patients over 65 and men over 70.” 

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Will Medicare cover a bone density scan?

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Medicare says: “Medicare covers this test once every 24 months (or more often) in certain cases. If the doctor accepts Medicare, you pay nothing for this test.” 

Learn more

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The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.