Can Alcohol Improve Bone Health?
A study published last month in the journal Menopause found that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol – about one to two glasses per day – may improve bone health for post-menopausal women.
Menopause and Bone Density Loss
Bone density loss and osteoporosis are serious concerns for women during and after menopause, because the hormonal changes in your body can contribute to an increase in bone loss.
Some post-menopausal women even take low dose hormones to combat this problem while others rely on supplements. Weight-bearing exercise can also help improve bone density, but you should always talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise regimen.
Alcohol and Bone Density
While a healthy diet and weight-bearing exercise are still incredibly important for maintaining bone density in pre- and post-menopausal women alike, this new study indicates that drinking one or two glasses of alcohol each day could also help maintain bone mass.
The study looked at 40 post-menopausal women and looked at the bone density in their hips. Not only did markers for bone turnover – another term for reduction in bone density – decrease when they were drinking one to two glasses of alcohol per day, but those markers increased when they abstained from drinking for two weeks and decreased again when they picked up the one-to-two-glass-a-day habit.
Researchers aren’t sure what properties in alcohol could be protecting these women’s bones, but the results definitely call for further study.