One of the oldest questions in the book is does coffee make you short, this article is going to finally reveal the truth. In a general answer, coffee has no evidence of stunting growth or making people short.
The idea of coffee making someone short is due to the fact that in the past coffee was thought to cause osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that can be associate with loss of height. However, blaming coffee for being short due to osteoporosis is not true and has faulty reasoning that includes;
- Coffee has been scientifically proven to not cause osteoporosis.
- Osteoporosis does not always or routinely make you short.
You Cannot Undo Growth
Those who claim coffee stunts your growth are wrong because growth occurs well before many people start drinking coffee on a regular basis. When people reach their teens, they are mostly at their full height. This usually happens for females around the age of 15 to 17, for males it is a little later. However, you cannot undo bone growth that has already been done.
Many years ago, studies were done and reported that coffee drinkers might have an increased risk for osteoporosis. It was claimed that:
- Caffeine can increase the ability to eliminate calcium from the body.
- The lack of calcium could cause osteoporosis.
This theory naturally attracted many concerned coffee drinkers. However, today it is proven that the effect of caffeine on calcium elimination is small. This link between coffee consumption and osteoporosis was never scientifically confirmed.
Studies that were taken suggest a link between coffee drinkers and calcium intake. Those who drink coffee tend to drink less milk and other calcium beverages. The reason people who drink coffee have lower calcium is due to the fact that they are not taking in enough and not that they are drinking coffee that eliminates calcium. It was the lessened intake of calcium rather than the coffee that was linked to the risk of osteoporosis.
Causes of Height Loss
The link between coffee specifically with height loss is not confirmed. In fact, it has been shot down many times. However, if you drink coffee you are less likely to drink milk which would cause you to not have enough calcium.
Not enough calcium can put you at risk for osteoporosis. This disease causes compression fractures which can reduce the height in adults. However, you can lose height without this disease as well.
The disc that are above and below your vertebrae (spinal bones) contain water. As you age, they tend to lose water. This would lead them to compress or degenerate a little bit. If more than one disc is affected, you can lose height over time.
The last thing that could lead to height loss would be a curvature of the spine. This is called scoliosis. Any bending of the spine including forward (kyphosis) can lead to significant height loss.
Those who drink coffee are not being made shorter due to the coffee. It is the lack of calcium in their diet that could put them at risk of the diseases listed above. The only way you would get these diseases is if you are older in age or have a severe calcium deficit in your diet. Do not blame the coffee.