Can women still drink wine if they suffer from bone loss or osteoporosis?

Jul 8, 2014

Q: Can women still drink wine if they suffer from bone loss or osteoporosis?

A: As a matter of fact, there is scientific evidence that some women might be better off reaching for a glass of Pinot Noir than a tall glass of milk. A 2012 study from Oregon State University found that postmenopausal women who abstained from alcohol showed increased bone turnover—a mark of bone loss and osteoporosis—but when they resumed moderate alcohol consumption, bone turnover markers decreased.

According to the study, "These results suggest a cellular mechanism for the increased bone density observed in postmenopausal moderate alcohol consumers." In other words, there seems to be something in alcohol that is preventing bone loss among postmenopausal women, a group that is at risk for high bone turnover.

Please advise your doctor if you are at risk for bone loss. Alcohol is not a cure for bone disease in women—but to many of us, it certainly tastes better than milk.

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