Study: Alcohol may help prevent bone loss
Posted July 13, 2012
There may be new medicine to help prevent bone loss, but it’s not found in pharmacies. Restaurants, bars and ABC liquor stores could hold the key.
Women who want to prevent osteoporosis may want to raise their glass. A new study says drinking a moderate amount of alcohol may help prevent bone loss.
Researchers at Oregon State University studied postmenopausal women who regularly had one or two drinks a day. They found that when the women stopped drinking for two weeks their rates of bone turnover, when bones is lost and replaced, went up.
When the women resumed drinking after two weeks, their rates of bone turnover returned to the previous lower levels. Most of the women in the study drank wine.
The body constantly removes and replaces bone. With osteoporosis, more bone is lost than reformed, resulting in weak bones that are more likely to break.
About 40 million Americans either have osteoporosis or are high risk of getting it. Older women are more affected because estrogen – the hormone that keeps bone replacement in check – decreases after menopause.
Women, like 83-year-old Sandra Crain, say they welcome the study’s findings.
“My friends my age have osteoporosis. It’s very common, and we can all use a bit more wine. Why not?” Crain said.
Researchers warn not to drink too much.
“Excessive alcohol consumption is detrimental to bone health, but in this moderate range it is beneficial,” said study author Urszula Iwaniec.
Eating a healthy diet, taking calcium and exercising also go a long way to keeping bones healthy.