How to build strong bones: Drink beer
A new study to be published in the April 2009 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows moderate consumption of beer or wine increases bone density. As you get older your bone density shrinks, so causation or a strong correlation with moderate consumption could help with an aging population.
The researchers found subjects who consumed 1-2 drinks had higher bone density than those who abstained. The study also found the association was stronger with beer and wine than spirits. The researchers believe other compounds such as resveratrol in wine or silicon in beer contributed to the increase in bone density, since the bone density did not increase more with spirits consisting of mostly ethanol.
They also found the benefit dropped off dramatically for men who consumed more than 2 drinks per day. These men had significantly lower (3.0–5.2%) hip and spine bone density than men who had 1-2 drinks per day. The researchers stated they did not know for sure if the same drop in bone density was demonstrated in women. Having never heard of a sorority, the researchers claimed they were unable to find women who regularly over-indulged.
The study looked at bone density of men and women aged 29 to 86. Most of the women in the study drank only wine. This made it difficult for the researchers to make any claims about women beer drinkers and bone density. The average age in the study was 61, so they were also unable to make any strong conclusions about the beer and wine effects on bone density in younger women.
The subjects were slightly heavier with an average BMI between 27 and 29. The researchers did note only 4% of the post-menopausal women were on medication for osteoporosis (medication to increase bone density), while the rest of the men and women were not taking any medication.
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I live in Denver, Colorado. This blog is everything about beer, wine, cider, mead and other spirits.
I am a avid homebrewer and winemaker. I’ve been making my own beer and wine for many years. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible. The beers are much better now, and I often supply my neighborhood with free beer! It is a great hobby!