Objective: This study was conducted to determine whether dietary caffeine consumed by American white females between ages 12 to 18 affects total body bone mineral gain during ages 12 to 18 or affects hip bone density measured at age 18.
Methods: The Penn State Young Women's Health Study is a longitudinal investigation of bone, endocrine and cardiovascular health in non-Hispanic, white, teenage women. Nutrient and food group intakes were obtained by averaging over 6 years of prospective diet records. The cohort, as of age 18, (n = 81) was separated into three subgroups according to mean daily caffeine intake averaged across ages 12 to 18. Group I (n = 37) consumed less than 25 mg caffeine per day; Group II (n = 33) consumed 25 to 50 mg caffeine per day; and Group III (n = 11) consumed greater than 50 mg caffeine per day. The group mean daily caffeine intakes (SD) were Group I = 14 (6) mg/day; Group II = 35 (7) mg/day; Group III = 77 (27) mg/day. Total body bone gain and hip bone density were determined by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA).
Results: There were no significant differences among the three caffeine intake groups for total body bone mineral gain during the ages 12 to 18 or of hip bone density at age 18. The low caffeine intake group consumed more milk (and therefore more calcium) and more fruit per day than did the other two groups. Group III, the highest caffeine intake group, consumed more sugar per day than did the other two groups. The observed differences in nutrient and food intakes among the three groups were not associated with any differences in anthropometric measurements or bone gain among the three groups.
Conclusion: These findings indicate that dietary caffeine intake at levels presently consumed by American white, teenage women is not correlated with adolescent total bone mineral gain or hip bone density at age 18.