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One Major Side Effect of Drinking Too Much Caffeine, New Study Says

Our love for caffeine may interfere with an important vitamin our immune system needs to protect us.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vitamin D has been upheld as one of the most powerful supplements you can add to your diet to help protect you from contracting the virus. Meanwhile, also since the start of the pandemic, our collective love of coffee has never been stronger. Unfortunately, a study that's just come out has found why increased intakes of caffeine and Vitamin D might not be so beneficial for you. Here's the science.

Fang Yang and Ning Wang, two obstetrics and gynecology researchers in China, recently investigated what may be behind what they refer to as "a global concern," and that is low Vitamin D levels. To do so, they accessed data from the U.S. 2005–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

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Using a sample size of 13,134 young and middle-aged adult participants, the two researchers assessed levels of dietary caffeine intake and 25-hydroxyvitamin D—a chemical that the body converts Vitamin D into in order to process and use it following ingestion, Healthline explains.

According to their abstract, the researchers found that as caffeine intake increased, so did the chances for a Vitamin D deficiency. They report: "Higher dietary intakes of caffeine were associated with [25-hydroxyvitamin D] deficiency in a representative sample of the American population."

The full study will be published in the upcoming issue of the journal Nutrition, so a deeper explanation of its findings may become available when it is. The researchers also qualify their findings by stating that further research is necessary to determine whether caffeine actually causes this Vitamin D deficiency, or whether other dietary, health, and lifestyle factors might be involved.

In the meantime, we all know that while habits like caffeine helped to keep our energy up during a tough time like the pandemic, "too much of a good thing" does exist. Taking Vitamin D supports the immune system, prevents bone problems, contributes to healthy hair and teeth, and more. So what's the maximum amount of caffeine you should consume each day to keep your body in balance? Find out by reading What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Caffeine. Also check out:

Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more
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