Author: Sonja Fung, ND

1. Does coffee increase breast cysts?

There are no research studies that show that coffee intake increases breast cysts. However, there are studies showing that high caffeine intake (4-5 cups or more of coffee daily) increases the level of estrogen in the body, which could aggravate conditions such as endometriosis and breast pain. Caution should be used by women with estrogen sensitive breast disease or breast cancer. Low to moderate intake of coffee (1-2 cups per day) has not been shown to significantly increase estrogen production in the body.

2. Is diet soda better for you than regular soda?

The short answer is NO. The artificial sweeteners in diet soda (even though it is lower in calories) desensitizes your body to the taste of sweetness. Consuming a lot of artificial sweeteners can actually make you gain weight, because it increases your desire for sweet foods and leads you to consume more calories overall. In general, drinking soda is detrimental to your health in many ways, such as increasing risk of diabetes, stroke, and obesity by 34% overall. It can also aggravate heart burn, migraines, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure.

3. Keeping hydrated is crucial, especially in the summer months, but is bottled water or tap water the best way to go?

There is a common misconception that bottled water is more pure and safer than tap water because you are paying good money for that bottle. The scary thing is that bottled water is not required by the FDA to report their source of water or if there is bacterial or chemical contamination. Also, because most bottled water containers are plastic, there is leeching from the plastic into the water, which is increased by heat (i.e. desert weather). The best way to ensure that you and your family are consuming pure water is by using a filtering pitcher or sink water filter. Store your filtered water in glass or stainless steal bottles to prevent any leeching of plastics. And remember to drink half your body weight in ounces daily or more, especially with out door summer activity.

Answers provided by Dr. Sonja Fung of Live Well Clinic at 78-900 Avenue 47, Ste 102 in La Quinta, CA. If you have a health related question you would like addressed in a future Q & A, please email