Drinking leads to stronger bones?

A new study shows older men and postmenopausal women who have one or two glasses of beer or wine daily appear to have stronger bones than non-drinkers or heavy drinkers.

Moderate drinking has also been linked to decreasing the risk of heart disease, but it has also been found to increase the risk of some cancers.

Researchers at /*Tufts University*/ in Boston say they are looking at the relationship between different types of alcohol and bone mineral density. For women, wine protected bones better. For men, beer was the most protective.

Drinking hard liquor had the least beneficial effect. Drinking too much was also harmful. Men who had more than two drinks a day had the lowest bone mineral density.

The study, which was published Thursday in the April edition of the /*American Journal of Clinical Nutrition*/ focused on data collected from 1,289 postmenopausal women, 248 premenopausal women and 1,182 men enrolled in the Framingham /*Osteoporosis*/ Study. Scientists looked at data on their drinking habits and bone density measurements in their hips and spine.

Although moderate drinkers had higher bone density, researchers say heavy drinking is a major risk factor in osteoporosis.


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