Moderate alcohol consumption in addition to a healthy lifestyle may help bone development and lower the risk of developing osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, according to a study published recently in the journal Menopause.
Reduced markers of bone turnover in 40 healthy, postmenopausal women both during alcohol consumption and after resuming their intake following withdrawal for a 2-week period suggested that estrogen and alcohol have similar effects on bone growth, researchers said. They added that after resuming one to two alcoholic drinks per day, participants’ bone turnover levels returned to levels seen with previous alcohol consumption in less than a day.
“Drinking moderately as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet and exercise may be beneficial for bone health, especially in postmenopausal women,” Urszula Iwaniec, PhD, study author and associate professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University, stated in a release. “After less than 24 hours, to see such a measurable effect was really unexpected.”
The serum levels of bone formation marker osteocalcin and bone resorption marker C-terminal telopeptide increased after participants halted their alcohol intake, while resuming alcohol consumption reduced these serum levels, suggesting that a cellular mechanism is responsible for the increased bone growth, according to the abstract.
Marrone JA, Maddalozzo GF, Branscum AJ, et al. Moderate alcohol intake lowers biochemical markers of bone turnover in postmenopausal women. Menopause. Published online ahead of print July 9, 2012. doi:10.1097/GME.0b013e31824ac071.