Move over, milk; beer may the new bone-friendly beverage.
We know that a drink a day (or two for men) is good for the heart, and now research suggests that moderate alcohol intake may in fact be good for your bones, too.
A recent study shows us that mild levels of alcohol consumption may be beneficial to bone mineral density in older men and in postmenopausal women.
Previous studies have shown that moderate intakes of alcohol seems to have beneficial effects on bones — but the specific types of alcohol had not been investigated. This study looked at individual alcoholic beverages and bone mineral density. They found that compared with non-drinkers, bone mineral density was greater in men and post-menopausal women who consumed one to two drinks/day. But don’t get carried away — higher intakes of alcohol (more than two drinks/day) were associated with significantly lower bone mineral densities. And the benefit seems to be dependent upon what’s in your glass; while beer and wine were associated with increased bone density, hard liquor was not. Perhaps other components present in wine and beer — namely silicon in beer or resveratrol in wine along with a few other compounds — may be what’s so good to the bone.
While this may be so, this study examined the effects for a short period of time — the long-term effects of alcohol on bone mineral density have not been ascertained. So while more research is needed, it’s safe to say that moderate consumption of alcohol may be good for you in more ways than one. And that’s especially true if you choose a glass of Cabernet or a beer instead of a martini.