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 among older women. But is also effects many men. It is a frequent cause of fractures that often lead to severe disability. The disease can cause bones to become so weak that even coughing can fracture them. Fractures caused by osteoporosis 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 and replacing itself with new tissue. That’s why bone can change shape over time with advancing age. Doing things that help new bone tissue grow fast enough to replace what is lost reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

A number of things can increase the risk of osteoporosis.Being over 50 years of age.

  • Having a family history of osteoporosis.
  • 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 osteoporosis.

  • 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 osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures, compared with abstaining.

These findings are consistent with other research on alcohol and the risk of osteoporosis.

Source: Sommer, I., et al. Alcohol consumption and bone mineral density in elderly women. Pub Hlth Nutri., 2013, 16(4),704-712.

Readings on Alcohol and Risk of Osteoporosis

Berg K., et al. Association between alcohol consumption and both osteoporotic fracture and bone density. Am J Med., 2008;12(5):406-418.

Kanis, J., et al.  Alcohol intake as a risk factor for fracture. Osteo Int., 2005:16(7), 737-742.

Kouda K, et al. Alcohol intake and bone status in elderly Japanese men.  Bone, 2011;49(2):275-80.

Venkat K., et al. Effect of alcohol consumption on bone mineral density. Bone, 2009;45(3):449-454.