Alcohol helps postmenopausal women to lower risk of osteoporosis

ABC World News reported, “And now, healthy living. A brand new study out of Oregon State University finds that alcohol, mostly wine, could be a weapon against bone loss in women.”

The report continued: “A group of moderate drinkers stopped drinking and within two weeks, their bones were losing strength. But when they started again, their bones looked healthier almost immediately, within 12 hours. And, by the way, moderate drinking is defined as two five ounce glasses of wine a day.”

HealthDay reports that a recent study published in the journal Menopause suggests that “drinking one or two alcoholic beverages several times a week may improve the bone health of older women and reduce their risk for osteoporosis.”

Lead researcher Urszula Iwaniec, an associate professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University, is quoted as saying, “This study clearly demonstrates that even small amounts of alcohol have potent actions and can rapidly impact bone metabolism.”

MedPage Today notes that “in a study of 40 early postmenopausal women who stopped drinking for 14 days, there was a significant increase in serum osteocalcin (P=0.01) and C-terminal telopeptide (P=0.02).”

At the same time, however, “within 12 to 14 hours of resuming alcohol consumption, both osteocalcin and C-terminal telopeptide (CTx) levels returned to the baseline associated with having one drink a day.”

However, remember that this must be balanced against the fact that even one drink a day is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

And, balancing that, is the fact that one drink a day reduces cardiovascular risk, which is important considering the fact that cardiovascular disease kills 10-12 times as many women each year as breast cancer.

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