Risk of Osteoporosis and Drinking Alcohol: Drinking Reduces Risk

The risk of osteoporosis is reduced by drinking in moderation. That’s according to medical research.

Osteoporosis is a severe problem. Especially so for older women. But is also affects many men. It is a frequent cause of fractures or breaks. These often lead to severe disability. The disease can cause bones to become too weak. Even coughing can break ribs. Fractures caused by the disease most often happen in the hip, wrist or spine.

It’s easy to forget that bones are living tissue. Each bone is always breaking down. Then it replaces itself with new bone. That’s why bone can change shape over time. It does so more with advanced age. Doing things that help new bone grow fast reduces risk of the disease.

A number of things can increase the risk of osteoporosis.

    • Being over 50 years of age.
    • Having a family history of the disease.
    • Being white or Asian.
    • Having broken bones.
    • Being post- menopausal.
    • Being frail.
    • Having height loss.
    • Being a woman.

We can’t change our family medical history, age or gender. But we can do things to reduce our risk of this disease.

    • Get enough calcium and vitamin D.
    • Reduce consumption of protein, salt and caffeine.
    • Drink alcohol in moderation. It can be beer, wine or spirits.
    • Get enough exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise.
    • Not be overweight.
    • Not smoke.

Study: Risk of Osteoporosis and Alcohol

risk of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis causes bone loss and distortion.

Researchers in Finland studied 300 women for three years. They looked at drinking and bone mass density (BMD). The more dense and strong bones are, the less likely they are to break.

Regular, moderate drinking was linked with more dense bones (higher BMD). This reduced the risk of the disease and of fractures. That’s compared with abstaining from alcohol.

These findings are consistent with that of other research.

Resources: Risk of Osteoporosis and Drinking

Web Pages

Moderate Drinking Reduces Risk of Developing Osteoporosis.  

Drinking Alcohol Protects against Low Bone Density and Fractures.

Alcohol and Brittle Bones.

Drinking Alcohol and Falls among Older Adults.

Risk of Hip Fractures Reduced by Light to Moderate Drinking.  

Drinking and Frailty.

Drinking Alcohol and Risk of Frailty.

Do Older Adults Drink Enough Alcohol for Good Health?

Moderate Drinking among Older Women.

Benefits of Moderate Drinking Result from Alcohol Itself.


Berg K., et al. Association between alcohol consumption and both osteoporotic fracture and bone density. Am J Med.,12(5):406-418.

Kanis, J., et al.  Alcohol intake as a risk factor for fracture. Osteo Int., 16(7), 737-742.

Kouda K, et al. Alcohol intake and bone status in elderly Japanese men. Bone, 49(2):275-80.

Venkat K., et al. Effect of alcohol consumption on bone mineral density. Bone, 45(3):449-454.


Sommer, I., et al. Alcohol consumption and bone mineral density in elderly women. Pub Hlth Nutri., 16(4),704-712.