Be­yond heart health

Health & Nutrition - - NUTRITION UPDATE -

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).

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