Moderate Drinking May Help Build Bone Density

When we talk about alcoholic drinks, it’s always litany of their negative effects on our health.

For a change, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that men and postmenopausal women who consume one or two drinks per day may in fact have higher bone density levels than those who don’t.

Earlier studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption may have a positive effect on bones.

A more recent analyzed the drinking habits of 1,182 men, 1,289 postmenopausal women, and 238 pre-menopausal women who were part of the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. The participants were given bone densitometry tests and were asked to answer questionnaires asking about the amount of alcohol they consume.

The study found that a serving was defined for each type of alcohol:

Beer: one 12-ounce (356-ml) glass, bottle, or can

Wine: one 4-ounce glass

Liquor: one 42 ml shot

A drink or two will do

Men and postmenopausal women who admitted to having 1 or 2 drinks per day had higher bone density compared to those who do not drink. Also, this is more true of beers and wine than hard drinks or liquor. Men who consume more than two drinks pf liquor per day actually have lower bone density than those who drink less. On the other hand, there were no links between alcohol density and alcohol consumption in premenopausal women.

According to researchers Katherine Tucker and her colleagues from the Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, at Tufts University in Boston, "alcohol intake, particularly from beer and wine, may protect bone health. However, intake of more than two drinks per day of liquor in men was clearly harmful. We did not have sufficient numbers of women who drank heavily to confirm or refute this likely negative effect with heavy drinking."

There is still no definite explanation as to how moderate alcohol consumption contributes to bone health, but according to the article at Medfinds, it "may relate to a beverage’s non-alcohol components or to the alcohol’s direct effects on hormones or organs that affect bone health."

Source: Medfinds