Alcohol in moderation boosts bone health

July 14, 2012 at 12:03 AM

CORVALLIS, Ore., July 13 (UPI) -- Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol as part of a healthy lifestyle may lower a post-menopausal woman's risk of developing osteoporosis, U.S. researchers say.

Urszula Iwaniec, associate professor at Oregon State University, and colleagues measured a significant increase in blood markers of bone turnover in women after the subjects stopped drinking for just two weeks.

Bones are in a constant state of remodeling, with old bone being removed and replaced. In people with osteoporosis -- 80 percent of whom are women -- more bone is lost than reformed resulting in porous, weak bones.

Researchers in OSU's Skeletal Biology Laboratory studied 40 early post-menopausal women who regularly had one or two drinks a day, were not on any hormone replacement therapies, and had no history of osteoporosis-related fractures.

The study, published in the journal Menopause, found evidence for increased bone turnover -- a risk factor for osteoporotic fractures -- during the two week period when the participants stopped drinking. The researchers found less than a day after the women resumed their normal drinking, their bone turnover rates returned to previous levels.

"Drinking moderately as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet and exercise may be beneficial for bone health, especially in postmenopausal women," Iwaniec said in a statement. "After less than 24 hours to see such a measurable effect was really unexpected."

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Pepsi to release 'Back to the Future Part II' inspired Pepsi Perfect
Nobel Prize in medicine awarded to parasitic disease scientists
Womb transplants begin in U.K. after Sweden's success
Gay Vatican priest comes out day before Pope Francis begins synod on family issues
Scientists find roadmap that may lead to 'exercise pill'