Drink This, Not That For Better Bone Health - Save Our Bones

Does your family know better than to try talking to you before you've had your first cup of coffee? If that’s the case, you are not alone. Millions of coffee drinkers worldwide need that cup of java to get going in the morning.

But coffee is acidifying, so it accelerates bone loss, especially if consumed in excess or even in moderation as part of a predominantly imbalanced acidic diet.

Besides its delicious aroma, coffee does have certain benefits. And here’s my little secret: I drink one cup to start my day, and I’ll tell you exactly how you can too – without hurting your bones, of course. And if you are a tea drinker, I have some bone-smart tips for you as well.

Coffee's Redeeming Qualities

It's true, coffee's not all bad. First, for all the controversy surrounding it, the caffeine that gets you going in the morning is a stimulant that can produce an instant energy lift. Although that stimulant effect can have its downsides, it temporarily increases your metabolism and can thus be an aid in weight loss. And here’s more good news for coffee lovers: caffeine is being studied for its potentially positive effects on memory.

But more to the point as it relates to your bone health, the polyphenols in coffee can actually stimulate osteoblast production (osteoblasts are the cells that build bone and promote bone health).1

Polyphenols function as antioxidants, and play an important role in bone health. Most of the antioxidant attention has gone to Vitamin C, although those of you who got the Osteoporosis Reversal Program are familiar with lycopene, a potent antioxidant that protects bone cells from damage, and polyphenols.

Just as there are many types of antioxidants, there are many types of polyphenols; thousands, in fact! Coffee contains caffeic acid, ferulic acid, and p-coumaric acid (all of which fall into the broad category of phenolic acids).

Sounds great, doesn't it? Caffeine for energy, polyphenols for all the bone and health benefits they provide… What could be better?

Well, as I mentioned earlier, coffee is an acidifying food, and excessive consumption can hinder your efforts to regain your bone health.

Decaf's Better Though, Right?

If you're patting yourself on the back because you only drink decaffeinated coffee, here’s important information for you. Decaf can be a good choice if you're sensitive to caffeine, but it doesn't change the fact that coffee is still acidifying. So drinking excessive decaffeinated coffee can be just as detrimental to your bone health as the caffeinated variety.

But… since this article is all about compromises, if you love your coffee but can't handle caffeine, go ahead and reach for the decaf. With a couple of cautions. It's important to be aware that there are different methods of removing caffeine from coffee beans. Both the so-called “Direct” and “Indirect” methods use chemicals (either dichloromethane or ethyl acetate) to rinse the beans or extract the caffeine. Of course, the use of synthetic chemicals further acidifies the pH.

So if you choose to drink decaf and would prefer to avoid a side order of chemicals, look for coffee that's been processed using the Swiss Water Method, which uses water and carbon filters. The result is 99.9% caffeine-free coffee with most of its flavor retained.2

You can find several products that use this method by doing an online search for “Swiss water method decaf coffee.” Don’t let the name mislead you; the critical step for decaffeination is the use of charcoal filters. Or you can simply ask at a local grocery or specialty store.

How About a Cup of Tea?

But tea is not the magic elixir for your bones either. In the past several years, we've been regaled with the benefits of tea, particularly green tea. You've probably heard a myriad of health benefits of green tea thanks to its high content of free-radical fighting polyphenols.

And a study conducted in the UK found that black tea can improve bone density.3 Most of these benefits are attributed to its polyphenols. Tea, like coffee, is loaded with them. So why don't I recommend it? In a word… fluoride, which is toxic and accumulates in your bones and joints.4

Many studies, particularly in the 80’s and 90’s, were conducted to observe if fluoride added to municipal tap water increases the risk of fractures. Indeed, the vast majority showed a relationship between fluoridation and an increase in bone fractures, especially the dreaded hip fractures.

And a recent Mayo Clinic study has found a definite link to bone and gastrointestinal disorders resulting from chronic fluoride exposure due to drinking excessive quantities of tea.5

You see, tea plants absorb a large amount of fluoride from the soil. Green tea is the worst in this regard, and white tea, which is harvested from younger tea leaves, contains the least amount of fluoride.

Note that when I talk about tea, I'm referring to black, green, and white teas. You can enjoy a multitude of wonderful herbal teas, also known as tisanes, without worrying about fluoride.

It's Time for Your Chicory Break

When it's coffee break time, a nice cup of chicory probably doesn't spring immediately to mind, unless you're European. In Europe, chicory is often added to coffee to increase body and flavor. And you may have seen chicory-based coffee substitute drinks that often include barley, rye, beets, and/or wheat.

Chicory root is alkalizing and bone healthy. Even though the added barley, rye, and wheat are acidifying, a chicory root-based beverage is a great, caffeine-free coffee alternative. There are several coffee substitutes on the market, and finding one you like may be a matter of trial and error. But some people actually prefer the taste of coffee substitutes! Replacing one or two of your daily cups of coffee with a coffee substitute can aid in your pursuit of bone health.

Misnomer Alert: Low Acid Coffee

You may have seen ads for low acid coffees. But before you get all excited and think that you can now drink coffee without its acidifying effects on your bones, here's the deal. Low acid coffees may have less of an impact on your digestive system, but don't forget that pH levels have to do with what happens after the food is digested, not how it feels going down. So… unfortunately for those of us who are coffee lovers, low acid coffee is still just as acidifying.

Tips for Bone Health Conscious Tea or Coffee Drinkers

Go ahead and enjoy that cup of coffee or tea in moderation, but protect your bone health by following these guidelines:

1. Use distilled water or water that has been filtered using reverse osmosis

This is especially important for tea due to its fluoride content. If you use tap water or bottled water that has been filtered using another method, you're getting a double dose of fluoride, first from the water and then from the tea. And boiling actually increases fluoride concentration.

2. Go organic

Choosing organic coffee or tea will reduce the harmful effects of the beverage. Again, this is especially true for tea. Coffee beans are rinsed prior to processing, which removes some chemicals. Tea leaves are not rinsed, as the rinsing process causes the tea leaves to turn moldy when they're packaged. So your serving of non-organic tea could include a helping of acidifying and toxic pesticides.6 Avoid this by choosing organic when possible.

3. Hold the sugar

Instead of adding sugar to your tea or coffee, try adding some alkalizing bone-healthy stevia or honey instead.

4. Add a dose of alkalinity

Just as I suggest balancing a pasta meal with alkalizing vegetables, balance your tea or coffee with the addition of alkalizing foods. A simple way to do this is by adding almond or soy milk to your coffee, or lemon to your tea. And have your favorite alkalizing snack with either beverage. I know some of you may wonder why you can't just take a calcium supplement with your coffee or tea to offset the acidifying effects. That won't work because the beverage gets to your blood stream before the calcium. But you can definitely increase your alkalizing reserves by adding alkalizing snacks, if not with your beverage of choice, then shortly before or after.

5. Mix it with chicory

If you brew your own coffee, try cutting the amount of coffee grounds in half and replacing them with ground chicory root. If you're hesitant to try this, you could start by adding a much smaller amount of chicory and building from there.

6. Cut down and make substitutions

If you have a five-cup-a-day habit (whether it's coffee or tea), work toward cutting back. If you absolutely can't function without that morning cup, by all means have it. But then try some alternatives like chicory-based coffee substitutes or possibly herbal teas during the rest of the day. If you have a green tea “habit,” try substituting white tea for at least some of your servings, since white tea contains considerably less fluoride.

You CAN Have Your Coffee AND Your Bone Health

Bottom line. As you've heard me say before, the Osteoporosis Reversal Program is not an all or nothing proposition. You can still enjoy the foods you like, including coffee or tea. Just try to find a bone-healthy balance by limiting your consumption, adding alkaline snacks, and using alternative drinks when you can.


1 Balachandran, Rao, Murray. “Polyphenols in the extract of greens + herbal preparation have effects on cell proliferation and differentiation of human osteoblast cell line SaOS-2”. 26th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. 2004.
2 “History of the SWISS WATER Decaffeination Process”. https://www.swisswater.com/about/history. Jan 04, 2007.
3 Hegarty et al. “Tea drinking and bone mineral density in older women”. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 71: 1003 to 1007. 2000.
4 https://www.slweb.org/pf.fluoride-bone.html
5 Hallanager Johnson et al. “Fluoride-related bone disease associated with habitual tea consumption. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Vol. 82 No. 6 719-724. June 2007.
6 Shivani Jaggi et al.. “Leaching of pesticides in tea brew. “ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 44, No. 11. pp. 5479–5483. 2001.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Marilyn

    Hi Vivian,
    Are you concerned about the chemical “acrylamide” in coffee that can cause cancer? I understand this chemical is not present in herbal teas and would be a better choice.

  2. maartje

    I dont use coffee and tea since my diagnosis.
    Just herb tea without added stuff.

    But..since a year or so, in Holland there is Chikkonotcoffee, this is chicorey without anything else!! It’s so delicious! If I want a “latte” I use coconutmilk

  3. Mindy

    I use Trader Joes coconut creamer in my coffee instead of almond milk, is that good to use as it is not mentioned? thank you

  4. Wes

    Adding almond or soy milk is not such a good idea. Most of these products are made with filtered tap water. Fluoride can not be filtered. Also, soy is primarily GM which is harmful.
    Go organic
    Avoid fluoride
    Avoid GM’s
    Avoid vaccines
    Heavily reduce your sugar
    Live long and prosper

  5. Elle

    how about stevia as a sweetener? if it is good; what brand do you recommend? anything to look out for?

  6. Kristina Wilson

    I surrendered espresso initially in light of the fact that it should bring about stringy bosoms and after that since it was acidifying. I utilize Alkaline drops in my espresso now to kill the corrosive. I likewise simply have a container or, dislike the days of yore!

  7. Kathy

    I add 1/4th teaspoon of baking soda to my pot of black coffee. Testing with PH strips shows this puts the coffee in the “7” range of optimal PH. Has anyone else ever heard of doing this?

    • Ann Johnstone

      @Kathy – Haha – I must admit that I’ve only ever used PH strips to test the acidity/alkalinity of urine!! But then, I’ve been a nurse for as long as I can remember!! Nevertheless, I have become increasingly in favour of natural therapy for most of this time, and am therefore delighted to see such a swing away from medication, and towards an enlightened, bone-healthy approach to physical well-being!

    • C. W.

      My mom used to do that. Her reason was she said it made the tea less bitter tasting. Good thing she did that as we drunk a lot of tea and we were on private well water, not city water.

  8. Eric

    I’m amazed at the people who can’t seem to read the article. The information that the WHO used to promote the use of fluoride in drinking water is based upon the science of pre-1950s which didn’t realize that heavy metals accumulate in the body; the person using strontium, really? Another dangerous heavy metal.

    Boiling kills microorganisms, doesn’t remove chemicals. Water is often boiled to make tea or coffee so boiling the water obviously doesn’t remove the fluoride, never mind your ignorance of science.

  9. Brian C

    Of course, if you like the idea of adding chicory to your coffee but think doing the roasting and grinding and blending yourself is a bit much, you can avoid all that effort and inconvenience (have you ever seen chicory at any store?) by simply buying a Louisiana coffee with chicory, such as Luzian or Community or French Market or Cafe du Monde.

  10. Karen

    I am 57 and have severe osteoporosis, hypothyroid and GERD. I have had osteoporosis for many year and gone untreated because I don’t like all that I read about the medications my Doctor wants me to take. I have seen 3 different Doctors and they all want me to take Prolia. When I refused the current Doctor dropped me as a patient. I drink 2 cups of coffee a day with 1 sugar and 2% milk. I was considering switching to tea when I found this article. Calcium supplements bother my stomach and I have had a sacral insufficiency fracture. I just don’t know what to do. I know my problems are bigger than this post but I want to start somewhere. I really rely on my coffee, if I give it up what should I replace it with?

    • Donna

      Greetings, what I did, was added a 1/4 cup of dry milk with each cup of coffee. Note that the calcium was my aim. I did use fosamax for two yrs, then retested. Perfectly normal now. Oh, and I stopped the fosamax. Still loving my coffee, as I now use molasses, which per cup gives me iron , as well as calcium. Do take care.

    • Margaret

      Oh my goodness you sound like me! I am 56, severe, diagnosed at 37, 4 vertebra fractures and now bilateral sacral insufficiency fractures. I’ve been on alkaline diet for a year and I’ve only become worse! Won’t touch the drugs so I’m out of options

    • Suel

      Change to black tea. It good for bone density

  11. Debbie

    I am reading all the comments with interest. I suffer with chronic acid reflux and have stopped drinking black tea, and have now re-introduced white tea and rooiboos tea. However, both seem very acidic? I need to buy the PH paper to test, but certainly after drinking either tea the reflux strikes. I don’t feel I can cope on just water. Any ideas? Is white tea acidic?

  12. joe

    I am furious as to why there is no warning label on tea packaging. I will be speaking to my lawyer about this.

  13. Amber

    Great article. I remember years ago coming across a few of the studies you cited. I was just looking back into them when I came across your article. Everything can back to me quickly reading this. I’m glad that I now get to share this with all my friends and loved ones and all I had to write was this paragraph. 😉

    Thank you for your work.

  14. Mindy

    Great suggestion with the Chicory root! It’s also loaded with prebiotics, which are essential for you gut flora. 🙂

  15. Eugene K

    I buy Teecchino. It’s a herbal alternative to coffee. Very tasty and many kinds to choose from. I buy it here with free worldwide delivery:

  16. Karen Barricklow

    Thank you so much, Vivian, for explaining the facts, about coffee and tea beverages. You have taught me some important things about these beverages. Although, I am not a heaving drinker of coffee or tea, I appreciate your suggestions, for ways to consume these drinks.

  17. olga

    Thank you.everithing caming fromyou very informative I truly appresiate,but lot of information is so controversial it not easy to know to whom believe. Olga

  18. gil

    I noticed that the Chinese prepare their tea with hot water but not boiling hot. They pour the hot water into the tea cup with the green tea or other teas, and the first “brew” is drained and thrown out. They pour for the second time hot water into the tea cup and that is the “brew” that is served to you. They tell you that you can use the same tea leaves for a maximum of two more “brews.” In this way of preparing tea, does the fluoride become considerably less?

  19. Toni Renfree

    Re tea/coffee debate, is the common weed dandelion (sold as instant coffee, ground coffee for expresso, or in tea bags)good for your bones? I have read that is is great for kidneys. I have been including the fresh greens and root in my vegetable juice. It is a little bitter, but I counter that with half a lime and a green apple included in the mix.

    • LynnCS

      The roasted root is the “Chicory” she talked about. I believe that dandelion “tea” is wonderful. I just drink the water from boiling the greens ( tea,) or include it in soup, etc. If you really want tea, you can dry the leaves and pour hot water over them to steep them, but I don’t have the patience.

  20. Marilyn

    I drink Teeccino Mediterranean Herbal Coffee in the mornings. The ones I like best are Vanilla Nut and Hazelnut. They are 75% organic with chicory. Depends on which one you buy there are organic dates, organic carob, organic barley, organic figs, almonds, natural vanilla extract and natural hazelnut flavor in them. Tastes mostly like the “other” coffee I use to drink. I don’t use a sweetener as I don’t like sweetened drinks, but I do add a little unsweetened almond milk to my mug. In my opinion this is a great alternative. These coffees are hard to find in my area. World Market use to carry them, but stopped. So, I buy them online at Vitacost.

  21. Rebecca Hoffman

    I received my Save Our Bones book and have been working my way through it. I am still a little confused about tea. If I drink green tea that is organic, is it acidic? I found some on line and it was organic green tea with herbs. What do you think of this? Thank you!!

  22. GJ


    • LynnCS

      Pull up your dandelions, roast and grind the root.

  23. Connie

    SO distilled water does not have fluoride in it?

    • barbara

      Please explain which distilled water to drink. Is this the one bought at supermarkets. I use this bottle to put into a machine to help with breathing.
      Is this the same water? Also bought at petrol stations for filling cars with water. Is this the same product?

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Barbara, distilled water from the grocery store is still distilled water – just make sure it is in a BPA-free container. 🙂

  24. Karen Michels

    Your articles have so much good information.
    Where can I get a coffee substitute as I have been drinking decaf tea for the last two years. I have chronic acid reflux; now I have osteoporosis because of the Omeprazole. I am learning so o o much from you! Thanks,

  25. joan

    I grew up in the New Orleans area where the coffee of choice was a chicory coffee. I have gone back to it using Community Coffee & Chicory which can be bought in supermarkets locally and online. Love it. I am going to experiment with mixing my own to alkalinize even more.

  26. Wilfredo

    I have switched from Milk 2% Lactose free to Almond Milk from Almond Breeze, but now I saw this in a website and I’am afraid and don’t know what to drink anymore, also I have eaten my brownies with almond milk.
    Please help!


    Almond milk is great on cereal but you can’t eat it on a regular basis without damaging your thyroid. Even in milk form,almonds are still nuts and require substantial input from your thyroid to process. Eventually, your thyroid can’t keep up.

    Also this:

    I was reading Dr. Andrew Weil’s site and he said you should avoid soy/almond milk that uses carrageenan as a thickening agent.

    • Darlyne

      Most interesting what you say about Almond milk because I do know how Silk’s Chocolate Soy Milk had a similar adverse effect. After investigation, I learned that since soy is an estrogenic phytonutrient [derived from plants], it will biochemically compete with the delivery of adequate thyroid hormone [they use same uptake pathway] and because estrogen is the more powerful hormone, it is then the metabolism that can suffer due to what, in my case, resulted in additional deficiency of thyroid hormone.

      As a postmenopausal woman [estrogen imbalance] who was already hypothyroid [deficiency of thyroid], I thought that drinking the soy milk would help to diminish the newly raging hot flashes, again, due to estrogenic effect…but by the fourth day as I noticed more, not less ‘fatigue’…I knew I had to stop drinking the soy milk which had been my last change in routine. Over time, the metabolism did improve, but only with careful discernment to avoid estrogenic phyto-foods and after I had found a savvy MD who provided appropriate the Rx with a balanced combo of the two primary thyroid hormones T3/T4. [Not just one or the other.]

      Simply astounding to think of how our organic bodies are so innately able to perform such finely-tuned balancing act…until they can’t for one reason or another, then it is we who must put heads together to decipher where the tweaking, usually to restore or re-balance, is necessary. Many thanks to Vivian for this open sharing forum and her wealth of expertise and knowledge in order to make the educational process not only go smoother, but also more timely for our best bone health.

  27. Mrs Webber

    No comment

  28. Jackie Waite

    I love all the questions, but rarely do I see individual answers after them so I am left wondering what the answer is as well. I have been following your program for almost a year but have yet to get the consultation you promised. I know you are EXTREMELY busy and you care deeply for all your readers so don’t think I’m criticizing please.

  29. Deanne Doherty

    I was diagnosed as hypothyroid and my T4 Free was a little low (0.56) so the doctor prescribed 25 mg per day of Levothyroxine. My T3 & TSH are normal. I’ve been on it for 3 months and ever since I started I have grown a crack up the middle of my thumbnail. Does Levothyroxine make my osteoporosis worse? My Bone Density in March 2010 was a -3.1 after 4 yrs.on Fosomax. I was told to try Forteo but chose to do the Save Our Bones program instead. I eat healthy, exercise & feel great!! What do you recommend?

  30. LESLIE

    Hi! Vivian,

    I Think This Is A Repeat, But It’s Still Good To Be Re-Affirmed! Thank You VERY MUCH For ALL YOU DO!

    LOVE, MS. L.

  31. Nicole

    Hi Vivian – You suggest putting honey in coffee instead fo sugar. Personally I don’t have that problem because I prefer my coffee black but if honey is so good for our bones can you please indicate which kind is best. I was faced with several choices in my supermarket & didn’t know which to buy. Thank you for all your hard work on our behalf. You truely are a life savior.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Nicole,

      I don’t recommend honey (or any sweetener) as a food that’s good for your bones. As an alkalizing sweetener, honey can be used in moderation to improve the flavor of foods and is much better than sugar or artificial sweeteners.

      If you can find organic honey, that would be best. And you can look for types that are in the most natural state possible.

      • Mon

        coffee beans that are ground start going stale imdeimately. It literally takes only 15 minutes for coffee beans to lose a large part of their taste after they’ve been ground. When you buy instant or preground coffee, you are getting a product that has already been ground for months, and will taste extremely stale and gross. People who buy things like foldgers or starbucks via only do so because they haven’t yet tasted good fresh coffee beans.

  32. mike

    I couldn’t disagree with you more about Strontium supplements. You need to read more than a couple of citations to do the research. Strontium is a real benefit to kidney organ recipient patients who have irreversible bone loss. I am disappointed. We use strontium from AOR.ca

  33. shunt

    dear Vivian I live in Queensland Australia I have got your book on save our bones some things I did not understand how it apply to me I was desperately trying to get in touch with you for consulation was unsuccessful, however I have just spend over$200.00 to buy Strontium from USA. Now I learn that it is not good for bone building. I just feel like crying that lound that whole world can hear me. Can any one please advise me what tablets or affordable food can help me for building my bone.
    kind regards
    Queensland Australia

    • Wes

      Green leafy vegetables. Best source of calcium around

    • jeanne whalen

      would like to hear your on this

  34. mehrnaz samadi

    very informative, i would like t see a small summery at the end of each article eg:

    1)tea with distilled water 1 cup a day balanced with almond milk

    2) coffee …….

    i like you, your work, and your book, i bought your book on my husbands – j.kazerooni – recmendatin, through my doughter yasaman kazerooni

  35. Yulianty

    I’m so thankful for your continuing emails,all the informations are so beneficial and they are the best i have seen regarding good health.
    Now I know about the best water we should have for drinking and cooking, which are distilled water or the water purified through reverse osmosis. Is pure water sold in supermarket the same as distilled water? I’ve recently heard about alkalined water (kangen water)which we can buy and have the equipment installed at home, is alkalined water also as good? Please let me know so that I can decide which one is best to have at home. Thanks Vivian 🙂

  36. LaJuana Shelton

    My previous doc says I have osteoperioses and wants me to go on meds. I don’t want to take meds and my body is the 1% who normally reacts to meds most can take. My new doc has insisted I take meds for hypothyroid so am on 7-1/2 mg pill made from pig thyroid as 1st one I took I really had bad reaction to. This one seems to be ok. Just saw comment that “silk” milk from soy isn’t good for me! What? Please help.


    Extraordinary article about coffee, Vivian. I think we clarified a lot and I have no doubt that this valuable information will benefit us greatly.

  38. Sally

    I don’t believe that Vivian still recommends distilled water.

    “The process of distilling actually worsens the presence of these extremely toxic contaminants in your water because anything that vaporizes at a lower temperature than water, such as volatile organic compounds (VOC’s and trihalomethanes (THM’s), will also be boiled and condensed.

    Sure, the heavy metals are left behind. Lead, for example, will not vaporize. But chlorine will change into chloroform during the distillation process, and will be present in your distilled water……”

    “So, not only will distillation not remove one of the most significant toxins in water, which are the DBPs, it may actually deliver a more concentrated dose of them.

    AND, you’re also drinking whatever chemical or metal contaminants the water has dissolved out of the container it’s stored in!”

    R/O has its problems too. Details here

    • HR

      Mercola is wrong. Distilled water is best for your health as Dr Weil says. Any heavy metals are eliminated from distilled water. VOCs not sure but those are easily eliminated through a simple activated charcoal filter which most distillers have.

      I’d like to see some more evidence. Distilled water and pure water are PH neutral. Many people from other countries still drink rain water which is demineralized and have better teeth and bones than British or people from the USA with access to tap or filtered water.

      The origins of your misconception reach back to studies conducted in the former Soviet Union about 20 years ago that were summarized in an article of the World Health Organization (WHO) without additional research or follow-up. The conclusions on physiological changes were drawn from rat, dog and human subjects who were volunteers undergoing water replenishment after strenuous forced marches in the desert. The study had few specifics on total water intake, diet, whether high purity water was exclusively consumed or the controls used.

      There is considerable evidence to counter the Soviet studies. Dr. Daniel Menzel, on of the nation’s leading toxicologists and the chairman of the Department of Community and Environmental Medicine at the University of California in Irvine, points to homeostasis as one of the reasons that the idea of leaching of minerals by consuming high purity water is an “erroneous assumption”.

      More evidence comes from the experience of the United States Navy. The U.S. Navy has used distilled sea water for human consumption for approximately 40 years without problems.

      Other practical examples are presented by the people who live in Lake Tahoe, California; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Boston, Massachusetts; and San Francisco, California which have natural TDS levels below 100 mg/L. These areas represent a considerable total population that apparently experiences no ill health effects from the water they consume.


  39. Alison Scott

    I appreciate this forum! My nutritionist recommended using xylitol as a sweetener, which I now use regularly. It is low glycemic compared to sugar, alkalizing and theoretically helps reduce the incidence of cavities.

    I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this, Vivian. Thanks for all your great work!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Alison,

      Xylitol is not alkalizing; it’s a sugar alcohol. Although several sugar alcohols are touted as naturally occurring in various foods, xylitol and other sugar alcohols are created through a manufacturing process.

  40. Maggie

    I bought 100% ground chicory online from Community Coffee and have been brewing it as if though it were coffee. It’s naturally caffeine free, and to me it tastes just like coffee-it’s wonderful!!! So glad to know that it’s good for my bones too.

  41. Michele Cowl

    Vivian, I have heard recently that Agave is very good for bones. Can you confirm this?

  42. Maria c Rhodes

    Thank you Vivian for this report.What do you think of rooibos tea/

  43. Evelyn

    What is the difference between stevia and truvia? I have been drinking an herbal tea with echinacea called a wellness tea, caffeine free, is this good? Thank you for all you do.


  44. Kathy R.

    Is the distilled bottled water in the plastic jugs at the grocery store ok to drink? I know other that the plastic jugs they come in is it safe for drinking?

    • pat

      Bottled water is better than tap though not ideal. How is purified water with minerals added? is this safe?

  45. Nu Ly

    Thank you for your tips, Vivian, balancing our food, when I have a cup of tea and put some
    lemon on it.

  46. Carmelle

    I especially liked reading about the acidity of coffee since I start my day with TWO cups of decaffeinated coffee with soy milk and honey.Vivian, I have your book”The bone health revolution” and I have been following it for the last couple of years.I am a 62 year old woman with a frame height of 5’1″ at 88 lbs.I exercise 30 minutes a day every day. Your book has been a ‘God’send for me.I read about your thoughts on bisphasphonates and made the decision to follow your book.I chose to believe that I lost 3 teeth due to taking the drugs as prescribed by my family doctor.I have NOT been taking them for well over a year now , and I have NOT lost any more teeth. I am on a daily regiment of 1600mg. calcium(from food and vitamin supplements)with 3500iu of vitamin D and 800 mg of magnesium.I also take a supplement called’bone basics’ for the rest of my daily bone requirements.I do feel obligated to tell you also that I have been diagnosed with M.S. for thirty years,asthma for the last ten years and osteoporosis for the last 4-5 years.I am doing the best I can,with many thanks to you Vivian for helping me realize that bisphasphonates should be eliminated from every persons’ life with the knowledge that there IS A MUCH BETTER ALTERNATIVE.Thank you so much Vivian for everything I have learned from you personally and of course your wonderful book’The bone health revolution.’

    • Maggie Hoehn

      I just found out that most all calcium supplements have a very high lead content.
      Please get your calcium from green leafy vegetables and other natural sources.
      If you have a good intake of Vitamin K and D, you will have optimal absorption.
      Resveratrol is a natural compound that preserves bone.


    I have minimized the consumption of coffee and now I drink chicory instead because I used to drink beverages cereals but I realized that in addition to rye and barley to the cereal malt are also added so that they resemble the coffee flavor. I have understood that Malta does not benefit bones.

  48. Rita

    Hi Vivian !

    What is reverse osmosis filtration ?

    • Hilary Hughes

      I am also wondering exactly what is reverse osmosis filtration please?

  49. Anne Keenan

    Yes, Vivian, I do enjoy a coffee or two in a day, as well as one or two cups of tea. Did purchase organic coffee & must get some organic tea. Thanks for your valuable information.

  50. gloria

    Hi Vivian,
    I drink 2 cups of 1/2 Caff coffee every morning and now use non-dairy creamer instead of cow’s milk and am using organic milk in my cereal. Is this acceptable?

  51. Mark

    I am not sure if this is the place to post this question or not, but here goes:

    Vivian, you recommend drinking almond milk, rice milk, or soy milk instead of regular cows milk because cows milk is acidic while the others are alkaline. When I did a internet search on other websites that discuss the acidic and alkaline foods, some of them list cows milk as neutral and almond milk, rice milk, and soy milk as acidic. I noticed the same thing with almonds, hazelnuts, eggs, and soy. I am confused how one source can have the foods as acidic and another source (supposedly just as credible) has these foods as alkaline. Your thoughts?

  52. Tracey Duke

    Dear Vivian,

    Is drinking Soda Water (which is highly alkaline) good or bad for our bones? I am wondering because it is gaseous.

    I have switched to drinking iced cold soda water (about 2 litres a day – due to hot flushes), instead of our normal filtered tap water which was very acidic. And I am hoping that I am doing my bones more good than harm by drinking it.

    Waiting for your reply,

    Yours faithfully, Tracey Duke

  53. Paul Abric

    Jan, thank you for such a prompt reply-For all the followers of your site I’ll say it again here-You have the best informative site with reference to health on the internet, and what I LIKE MOST OF ALL= IT’S THE “NATURAL APPROACH’
    Paul in Toronto.

  54. muiel adamson

    what are alkaline snacks, i’ve never seen any in the shops?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Muiel and Martha – Alkaline snacks would simply be ANY alkalizing food. Most fruits and vegetables are alkalizing, as are millet and quinoa. You’ll find several articles about alkalizing foods on this blog, and the Save Our Bone Programs goes into all this in much more detail.

    • martha martinez

      I hace the same question. Any good examles of alkaline snacks?

      Great article about coffee and tea.

  55. Barbara

    I drink coffee with a rounded teaspoon of MSM. Does the coffee take away the effects of the MSM? I have Osteoporosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis (which has caused Plueral Thickening).
    I take 400 mg of Citracal and 3000 units of Vitamin D3. I drink almond milk and trying to stay away from dairy products. But I haven’t completely. I’m also vegetarian.


      Hi Barbara, I was very pleased to have found a great substitute for cow’s milk such as almond milk, but after a year and a half of drinking it I realized that all that I’ve found stores (I live in Madrid) containing maltodextrin and maltose which are names of the substance disguised as MSG (monosodium glutamate) harmful to our health and also makes the drink too sweet.

      So if you decide to drink this milk you make sure it is free of these substances to be eligible for the benefits of almond milk

  56. viola

    thank you Vivian for your wonderful advices, i always read them. May God bless you for all your help to the people!

  57. Debbie Moore

    After I did a water change on my fish tank using my rain water,all the fish died so I tested the water PH & found it to be extremely acidic…I now use the town water supply for the fish & treat all my drinking water , including my kettle, with a small dash of bicarbonate of soda…this alkalizes it immediately. I had been drinking the rain water for 4 years thinking it was safer than town water which our Government treats with fluoride & chlorine. I’ve probably been adding to my bone deterioration by choosing to use the rain water! Debbie, Australia

  58. Judy

    I posted a comment early this evening and saw it when I checked the comment section. But now it’s not there. Where did it go???



    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      The only types of filtration that get rid of fluoride are distillation and reverse osmosis. Most “regular” bottled water contains fluoride.

      • Judy Kirkpatrick

        I am glad to read that reverse osmosis treatment gets
        rid of clorine and floride. I was planning to get the
        Kangen system, which is expensive, until I read your
        comments. Judy

        • Annie

          Don’t know if you bought your osmosis system yet? But I bought a nice one at Costco. It has 4 big tubes.
          My Hubby is not handy, so I had a plummer install it.

          Don’t be fooled by a high price for a Osmosis system. I had checked out many of them. Some are a Big Hype.

          We in the mountains in California on a Well. The Well water can change daily. I had the osmosis checked and it is doing a great job of Alkaline water.

  60. Mary Cohea

    I drink organic Yerba Mate tea in the morning. It comes from a holly tree that is native to the rain forest of South America. It contains a form of caffeine that is similar yet different to that in regular tea or coffee. What is your opinion of this tea? I would greatly appreciate hearing your reply. Thanks!

  61. Sue W.

    Thank you, Vivian, for all your informative emails and research. You are helping us so much in our effort to build/maintain healthy bones. I love my new eating habits and don’t miss the old ones.

  62. Gretchen Hufler

    Love all your bone tips and try to follow them as best I can. I have my reverse osmosis water system now installed and actually prefer the taste of this water and so of course I tend to drink more water and less coffee and sodas. Thanks!

  63. Gretchen Hufler

    Love all your bone tips and try to follow

  64. Milena Parber

    I can’t use soy milk because of hypothyroidism, right, and I hate almond milk. organic whole cow’s milk alkalinizing? or coconut?

  65. Monika

    I’m new to all of this and found it very enlightening. Thank you.

  66. Sherry

    Hi Vivian,

    If we later want to see a response that may have happened to a person’s or our question, how do we easily locate that person or our comment again? This would be greatly helpful!
    And thank you for your wonderful articles!

    • Lena Larsen

      I am also interested to know about this.
      If it is possible to search amongst the comments and answers(from Vivian and others) & If I make a comment to someone special – will he/she see that?
      Please don´t misunderstand this comment, it is not criticize, I just don´t want to miss anything on VIVIANS WONDERFUL site ! Kind regards Lena

  67. Gerri D.

    Hi Vivian,
    Thanks so much for a great article on coffee and tea.It especially brought back some memories of my childhood.I remember that my mother used to drink coffee with chicory.
    I drink one cup of coffee in the morning,and it is made with filtered water from my refigerator.Does this do the job?
    I want to thank you once again for all the informative articles that you send and for your Save our Bones program.

  68. Jeanne Vanderkooij

    The fluoride that you referred to in the teas are in it’s natural form and not harmful at all.
    What they add to the water system is toxic and harmfull to your health.

    • Mark

      Just curious as to where you got your information. The fluoride issue is a big one for me and any addition information is really important, especially if it comes from a credible source. Thanks.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        If you’re referring specifically to fluoride, Mark, you can check out the article References, particularly #4.

        • Mark

          I looked at the references you suggested in the article and I did not see any reference to fluoride in its “natural” form being not harmful. Is there a difference between naturally occurring fluoride found in teas and what they add to water?

          • Maggie Hoehn

            Fluoride is a toxic element, one of the most common elements on the earth. It is a waste product of manufacturing Aluminum, Uranium, etc. It is a rat poison and a common pesticide. It is a neurotoxin and more toxic than lead and has no place in our water supply. I suggest you read the book, The Fluoride Deception. You won’t believe how we’ve all been drugged and poisoned by our Government over a scam that it prevents tooth decay. It causes multiple health issues ie, arthritis and actually weakens your teeth. Tea is very high in Fluoride because of the industrial pollutants. Remember China does nothing to stop pollution and everything ends up in the water and on their crops. Anything from there will have high levels of Fluoride, Mercury, Lead, Cadnium, Arsenic, etc. Check out naturalnews.com about Fluoride. There is allot of information about its toxic effects on line. Get educated and filter your water to save your brain.

  69. Felicity Banister

    Hi vivian

    Just wondered if fresh coffee or instant is less harmful. Really trying to cut down but it is hard. Also trying to cut the red wine but that’s even harder!!

    Thanks for all your help

    Regards Felicity

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Felicity – Coffee is acidifying, whether it’s fresh or instant. But in terms of toxins and additives, you’re always better off with fresh and organic.

      • Clara

        Hi Vivian,
        I been using this type of coffee since 1993 to now , they call it with ganoderma .Its mainly with mushroom in it . I feel good drinking it but I only have two cups a day .Some people called it Lingzhi coffee . I like the most is the cordyceps coffee . Is that good for my health ? Thank you

  70. Una

    I start the day with coffee but if I am out I drink tea.As a coeliac I have to be careful about adding things. otherwise i try to keep to your program. I drink lots of water for the sake of my damaged kidneys but fluoride is added to our otherwise excellent mountain water.All I can do is try to keep a balance. I like reading your articles. Una

  71. Garlyn

    Thank you for the information about coffee. I love my coffee, I drink 1 or 2 cups every morning.

    Have you done any studies with Acia Berry and the Goji berry? Are they very acidifying?


  72. Elaine Schaeffer

    Thank you. I tried stevia. I have not heard of chicory. Will check it out.

  73. Geraldine Quinlan

    Are there any particular exercises recommended for Osteoporosis? My T score is -3.3. Thank you.

  74. Suzanne Cranston

    not all city water has flouride in it(although it will for sure have chlorine)- check with the municipal government to find out what’s in your water. If you have well water you should not have flouride at all….



    • Sue W.

      7-7.5 is good. You can do your own reading with pH sticks you can order online. I ordered PH INEX test strips which are quite accurate and easy to read. I’ve also gotten universal pH indicator paper from my pharmacy. Not as easy to read. Good luck!

  76. jackie

    my sister says you cant drink distilled water, it is only for ironing your clothes. is she right?

  77. Shula

    I prefer to avoid both coffee and tea. Having a little makes me want more and more. It’s not worth it.

  78. Terry

    I drink mostly rooibos. I am wondering if this is acidic.

  79. Shirley Bricker

    My T-Score is -4.4. I have a new doctor and he and my previous drs. all have a fit. He said he has never seen a bone density that bad. He gave me a month supply of the Forteo shots to try and a yrs. prescription and said it is different from the other drugs like Fosomax. It works with the parathyroid. What is your take on Forteo in a case like mine.

  80. judy

    i have celiac disease and have to be very careful about ingesting anything with wheat or anything possibly contaminated with gluten.is the coffee substitute safe for a gluten free diet? can you suggest any specific herbal teas. thank you.

  81. barbaras

    I am in good reasonable health @ 70 years of age I have a chemical relaxer put in my hair in a hair salon. It burned a lot when I was at the shampoo bowl, the shampoo person simply put more water in the areas I felt the sharp pain. It was 1/15 when I came back to the salon in Feb. I explained my hair is breaking off. she mentioned it feels so hard, I suppose that was the transformation my hair was making from overprocessed, too strong chemical in my hair. I have gone from shoulder length to bald (1/2 inch in some spots) The 3 dermatologist I have had an exam promote using steroids. Also, MinoxiDil, Promis4, Cultar. My biopsy of 2 areas in the scalp alopecia, scarring of follicle & a dimpling in my scalp. I also have severe itching of the scalp which is psorasis. I REALIZE YOUR SPECIALTY VIVIAN IS bones but I am hoping you or your reading audience can give me some effective suggestions.
    Losing more hair everyday,

    • Betty F.

      Please have blood work done to check your iron levels. I have always found that when my levels are low my hair starts falling out.

    • Richard Mason

      Dear writer,

      sounds to me as tho’ your body might benefit from a massive detox cleansing to get rid of a lot of the poisons that are probably in it.

      Just food for thought…

      Best wishes,


  82. Veronica

    Thank you, Vivian, for mentioning the green tea and the fluoride. I have stopped drinking green tea.

  83. barbara

    This is a very enlightening article on coffee & tea. Thanks for sharing.
    Recently, someone told me fillers are added in tea. Would you know what type of fillers to insert in the tea? I am looking at a teabag now & it says all natural.


    Chicago, IL

  84. denise douek


  85. Nancy Flexman

    If you have to have caffeine to wake up in the morning, I would suspect that you have problems with your blood sugar (which is bad news for your bones) or you need to go to bed earlier.

    I make an infusion of nettles, using an ounce of dried nettles with a litre of boiling water. After steeping it overnight, I drink half of it during the day, diluting it with water refrigerating the rest for the next day. I figure that the nettles are alkalising AND provide bone-building nutrients.

    Don’t like herbal teas? I have never met anyone who enjoyed tea or coffee the first try. On average it takes nine tries of something new to develop a taste for it, so hang in there!

  86. Leona

    Your article is very interesting, but distill water is not always around. I use Brita filter.
    Is it remove fluoride from the water ? Thank you.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Sorry Leona, but Brita filters don’t remove fluoride. Only distillation or reverse osmosis filtration will do that.

      • LynnCS

        Check with your local city/area water department. Not all put fluoride in the water. Some water which comes through rock and sand filters/wells, might still have some level of natural fluoride in it. They are required to provide a fact sheet to users periodically. Give them a call and ask for a copy. My city/area does not put fluoride in the water.

  87. ruth weissenberg

    I need help explaining why my pH fluctuates so much. First of all, on any given day, it starts around 5 or 5.5, then a couple of hours later it’ll be 7, then go up and down in that range several times a day. There’s no observable pattern relating to my food intake or any of the calcium or other organic supplements I take, nor apparently to anything that I ingest or do.

    Since noticing that, I’ve been measuring pH first thing in the morning only, and that’s reasonably stable (and pretty acidic at 5.5 or 6, but not a surprise cos I was eating masses of protein). So my second question is why, after days of changing my diet and eating 80% alkalizing foods, is my pH dropping even further to readings like 4, which is significantly more acidic?

    Vivian, please explain (a) the daily fluctuations that I see other people email about and (b) why my pH is getting more acidic now that I’m following the programs – or how long I’d need to follow the program to start to see improvements.

    Ruth, Australia

    • Trudy

      Hi Ruth,

      I encounter exactly the same problem. I hardly eat any meat and try to follow Vivian’s diet advice.
      However, my PH level is aprrox. 5 every morning.
      I would like some answers to this problem, too!

      • Alison Scott

        My nutritionist recommended that I refer to an acid alkaline food chart created by Russell Jaffe, MD. If you Google “acid alkaline food chart russell jaffe” you will find a copy posted online. It’s worked very well for me. I find sweet potatoes to be a great resource, as they are so alkalizing, so filling and also low glycemic. Good luck!

    • barbaras

      Ruth in AU

      Please explain how you check you PH level. I use to do it with some strips the company had but I haven’t seen them lately.
      It must be several thoughts on the importance of knowing your Ph level because during the time I was checking mine a medical technologist made a comment to me that it wasn’t important & why was I doing that. puzzled,


      • ruth

        Hi Barbara,
        My pH check is very simple. I bought some Universal pH strips from my local pharmacy. They ordered them in for me, and it cost about $20 for a box of 100 strips.
        First thing in the morning I test either my urine or if I forget I test my saliva, then compare the 4 colours on my strip to the chart on the box.

  88. ANGELA

    I have always been a big tea drinker, and once drank upwards of eight or nine cups a day. Now I keep it to three or four to keep the caffeine intake down. I was interested to read about the Mayo study that links high intake of fluoride to bone and intestinal problems. Other than the Osteoporosis diagnosis, I consider myself to be in very good shape at 62, always on the go, and working 12hr shifts. Along with the Osteoporosis, I suffer gastrointestinal problems which I attributed to stress. Now I wonder if the Mayo study has hit upon the real cause; fluoride in the water. I make sure to drink only reverse osmosis filtered water as Vivian recommends and thank her for all the good work she does.

  89. lauri norris

    my doctor advised me to take calcium before going to bed, that it absorbs better thru the body. Is this correct, because I’m not a night person, have trouble remembering to take before bed.

    • Sue W.

      How about a cup of warm almond milk instead of a calcium supplement? One cup has 450mg. of calcium. Might help you sleep better, too! I try to get most of my calcium from food/drink and find it easier than remembering to take calcium supplements.

  90. Ms. L.

    Hi! Vivian,

    Is The Chicory Coffee At Our Local Stores All Right For Us?

    Are There Name Brands Of Chicory Coffee That Are Better Than Others? Or Is It Best To Add Chicory Root To Your Coffee?

    Thank You VERY MUCH For All You Do For All Of Us.

    LOVE, MS. L.

  91. Dudley

    I just love reading your material and taking advantage of the great advice. I guess you get that kind of comment very often because it really is justified. The advice on coffee and teas supports what I’ve always believed and now my wife is a believer. Thanks a lot for the wide ranging and useful tips.

  92. carol maleham

    Is drinking rooibush tea ok.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Carol – Please see my reply to Jean about rooibos tea.

  93. Carole Kirby

    Great – here’s to my one cuppa treat each day! Thanks for the info re the decaf – will check that out.

  94. ken osborn

    Good information Vivian. Coffee is acidic because (mostly) of the oxalic acid. While the pH can be raised by adding a basic neutralizer (e.g., bicarbonate), the oxalate is still there just in another chemical form. If you have issues with kidney stones, even high pH (i.e., low acid) coffee should probably not be on your diet (unless you have found a low oxalate containing coffee – if you have, please let me know!).

  95. Mamata Behera

    I gave up drinking regular tea and drinking only herbal tea. Why my first urine acid in the morning always around 5.0-5.5 and goes up to 6.5-6.75 later part of the day? I have been following your diet plan. What can I do to bring my PH high? Thanks, Mamata,

  96. Lorraine Bunk

    How can I increase my bone density with eating the right foods???

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Lorraine – Following a program like Save Our Bones should help!

  97. patrick

    Although Viv. speaks of flouride in soils – re tea drinking, in he UK flouride is addedto tap water to stop/inhibit tooth decay

    it follows then on tea (according to Viv.) that fluoride is in the soils of every other food or drink

    we can only hope God will again send down untainted manna from heaven! since all we eat n drink from the earth is bad for us

    • patrick

      Hi Vivian

      If theres flouride in the water in the soils where tea is grown, isn’t it the same for coffee, herbal teas – even if they are organically grown? The flouride must be in the rain, is all I can think?

      I guess then its better to drink spring water, & not tea etc beverages

  98. Barbara Grace

    Enjoyed this article immensely, however, I had read that you should not use honey in hot products such as tea because it breaks down quickly and is not good to do. Is this true?

  99. shelley Smuckler

    I use a Zogurichi tea warmer that is supposed to filter out the “bad stuff” . Would this take care of the problems you speak of with drinking green tea?

  100. cookie

    I drink white tea with pomegranate in it. Sometimes I will put Almond milk in it, sometimes just lemon. Which is better?

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