Will drinking coffee make you shrink?

You have written about the health benefits of coffee, but I believe you have neglected to mention an important disadvantage. My mother, sister, and mother-in-law were all coffee drinkers. All three individuals have lost at least 4 inches of height after reaching the age of 80.

My mother was 5 feet 5 inches tall in her youth and approximately 5 feet 1 inch tall when she passed away. My mother-in-height law’s decreased from 5 feet 2 inches to 4 feet 10 inches before her death. My sister was once 5 feet 9 inches tall and is now 5 feet 4 inches tall at age 81.

I do not drink coffee. In the first three decades of my life, I drank black tea, but in the past four decades, I’ve switched to herbal tea.

I am 70 years old and have lost nearly 2 inches of height. I continue to believe that coffee causes greater bone loss than tea.

A: You may be correct. Green tea drinkers are less likely to develop osteoporosis (Nutrients, Dec. 26, 2021). On the other hand, coffee drinkers may be more susceptible to osteoporosis and fractures (Osteoporosis International, April 15, 2022, and June 2022).

These connections are intriguing but unconvincing. People who consume coffee have a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart failure, cancer, and dementia. According to a recent analysis of UK Biobank data, coffee drinkers live longer (Annals of Internal Medicine, May 31, 2022).

Diabetes was diagnosed in September after prediabetes had been present for more than a decade. After discussing it with my doctor, I went on a very low carbohydrate diet and began eating nopal (prickly pear cactus leaves) alongside the fruit I eat with my oatmeal in the morning. This dish is always seasoned with cinnamon.

My most recent test was conducted after an overnight fast. The HbA1c level was 6.68 %. The blood glucose level was 84, and the insulin level was 5.56.

Recently, I skipped a week’s worth of morning nopal and my diabetes symptoms returned. I’ve decided to consume nopal with both of my meals, as I’ve resumed consumption.

A: Your glycated haemoglobin level indicates that you have borderline diabetes because it is greater than 6.5 percent. Nonetheless, your fasting glucose and insulin levels are within normal limits.

Although prickly pear (Opuntia) cacti are native to the Americas, researchers in Australia are interested in their potential for blood sugar control (Medicina, May 15, 2019; Feb. 16, 2022).

In addition to the low-carb diet you are following, there are a number of other nondrug strategies. Regular exercise is important. Additionally, maintaining adequate vitamin D levels is beneficial. As long as it is Ceylon cinnamon, the cinnamon you sprinkle on your oatmeal can be beneficial.

In our eGuide to Preventing and Treating Diabetes, you can learn more about these and additional natural options for blood sugar control. This online resource can be found on PeoplesPharmacy.com under the Health eGuides tab.

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