Beyond heart health
Drinking alcohol regularly may have these two benefits for women, according to a new research.
BONE HEALTH. A study from the Oregon State University, published in ‘Menopause’, included 40 women in early menopause who were daily alcohol drinkers. When they stopped drinking for two weeks, they showed increases in blood markers of bone turnover. (Having a high bone turnover contributes to osteoporosis, since more bone is lost than re-formed). When the women resumed drinking, the markers returned to their prior levels within 24 hours. The findings “support the hypothesis that moderate dietary alcohol consumption may slow bone loss in postmenopausal women.” JOINT HEALTH. A study from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, published in ‘BMJ’, collected data on the drinking habits of 34,000 women and then followed up with them seven years later. Those who drink more than three alcoholic beverages a week had half the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis over the study period, compared to women who never drank. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects joints and is more common in women.
What to do: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise women to limit alcohol to one drink a day (defined as 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1½ ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits).