Alcohol and Brittle Bones/Osteoporosis

Consuming one or two alcoholic drinks per day may protect women against brittle bones and osteoporosis, according to recent research.

The study examined the effects of alcohol using identical female twins, in which one twin drank very little and the other twin drank moderately (one or two drinks each day). Twins were used because they are genetic clones. Because they have the same genes and grew up in the same environment, it’s easier to control for any other possible confounding factors.

Bone mineral density was measured at the hip and spine. The study found that moderate drinkers had significantly denser bones than the control group of twins consisting of very light drinkers.


  • Williams, F., et al. The effect of moderate alcohol consumption on bone mineral density: A study of female twins. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 2004. Published Online First: 1 July 2004. doi:10.1136/ard.2004.022269; Moderate alcohol drinking helps prevent osteoporosis. Medical News Today, July 1, 2004; Innes, John. Moderate amounts of alcohol could protect against brittle bones. The Scotsman (Edinburgh, Scotland), July 1, 2004;