Recent research has found that moderate drinking after menopause helps maintain bone strength. In contrast, the lack of alcohol can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis in middle-aged and older women.
An expert from the International Alcoholic Beverage Research and Technology Forum analyzed a study completed by researchers at the University of Oregon. The study involved 40 healthy menopausal women with an average age of 56 years. The study found that the daily intake of 19 grams of alcohol (about two small glasses of wine) can significantly reduce bone loss, improve the balance between old and new bones, and better maintain bone strength. When the researchers asked these women to stop drinking, their old and new bones alternated and the bone loss was aggravated. But the second day after they started drinking again, their bone strength improved. This result indicates that the protective effect of moderate drinking on female bones is comparable to that of bisphosphonates.
Jonathan Powell and Dr. Levingao Dawsinger, professors of nutrition research at the University of Cambridge Medical Research Council, said that the latest research fully demonstrates that moderate drinking has a protective effect on bones.
Scientists say a study published last year at the International Alcoholic Beverage Research Technology Forum said that moderate drinking by men and menopausal women (especially beer and wine) can help improve bone strength. A recent Finnish study also showed that women drink alcohol at least three times a week, and their bone density is significantly higher than that of women who don’t drink alcohol.
Sarah Leland, an expert on the National Osteoporosis Association in the United Kingdom, warned that the new study does not encourage women to drink too much to protect their bones. She said that moderate drinking is good for bone health, and excessive alcohol intake can increase the risk of falls and fractures in middle-aged and older women.