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Drinking linked to fracture risk

A drink or two a day may make for stronger bones, but more than two drinks each day appears to increase the fracture risk.

Drinking linked to fracture risk

A drink or two per day may make for stronger bones, but more than two drinks daily appears to increase the risk of fracture. Alcoholism and heavy drinking is a known risk factor for porous bones and osteoporotic fractures, but a number of studies have also linked moderate drinking to a lower risk of fractures and greater bone density. To assess the effects of moderate alcohol consumption on bone, American researchers identified published high-quality studies that evaluated the effects of drinking on bone health and looked at the combined results. It was found that men and women who had half to one alcoholic beverages daily were 20 percent less likely than teetotalers to sustain a hip fracture, but people who consumed more than a couple of drinks daily were 39 percent more likely to fracture a hip than were the abstainers. Further, compared with abstainers, moderate drinkers appeared to have a higher bone density, and this relationship was linear. The findings suggest that moderate alcohol use is beneficial to the bones. This could be attributed to the assumption that moderate drinking is accompanied by other moderate behaviours or healthy habits such as eating a balanced, nutritious diet. The researchers cautioned that teetotalers shouldn't start drinking for their bones' sake, because of the other known risks of alcohol.
The American Journal of Medicine,
May 2008
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