Latest scientific news 24 February 2022

Intake of alcoholic beverages and risk of osteoporosis

While excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages has been associated with an increased risk of developing osteoporosis, there are still controversial data regarding light to moderate intake.

The results of this meta-analysis showed a consistent evidence that increased consumption of alcoholic beverages is associated with a higher risk of osteoporotic fractures. However, the role of alcohol at lower doses is uncertain, since bone mineral density (BMD) was even higher in moderate consumers compared to abstainers. The authors explain that interpreting the results on alcohol consumption is very complex. Moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages is characteristic of certain dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet, which represents a bond with the cultural heritage in certain populations and has been associated with heath benefits.

In addition, another feature related to moderate intake is the typical consumption during meals, which represents a crucial difference from “modern” patterns of alcohol consumption characterized by binge drinking in a different context than meals. There is confusion between modern alcohol drinking patterns and consumption of alcoholic beverages within the context of a cultural heritage and providing health benefits associated with such habits, such as a moderate daily consumption during meals – as opposed to binge drinking. In addition, beverages such as wine contain a variety of active compounds, mainly polyphenols, which may explain at least partly, the potential health benefits. Therefore, consumers of alcoholic beverages should consider that both the dose and patterns of consumption may impact bone health.


Source: Godos J, Giampieri F, Chisari E, Micek A, Paladino N, Forbes-Hernández TY, Quiles JL, Battino M, La Vignera S, Musumeci G, Grosso G. Alcohol Consumption, Bone Mineral Density, and Risk of Osteoporotic Fractures: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Jan 28;19(3):1515. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19031515. PMID: 35162537; PMCID: PMC8835521.

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