image from cnn.com
When looking for a quick and reliable way to perk up, many turn to coffee. This rich and flavorful source of caffeine is a good pick-me-up. However, some fear drinking coffee because they’ve heard a rumor that coffee stunts physical growth.
This myth may have originated from theories about coffee causing osteoporosis. Early studies suggested that caffeine caused elimination of calcium from our bones. This loss of calcium was thought to lead to osteoporosis, which is diminished bone density. The theory then arose that bones weakened by osteoporosis may be unable to grow properly.
Physical growth occurs mainly during puberty. Most people finish growing at some point between 15 and 18 years of age. Therefore, the effect of caffeine on bone growth would mainly apply to children who begin drinking coffee.
Recent studies have shown that the effect of caffeine on calcium extraction is minimal and will not cause osteoporosis. There is no known linkage between coffee consumption and bone health. As long as you get some calcium from other sources, like dairy, you will continue to have strong bones and healthy growth.