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article imageModerate drinking may be good for women's bones

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By Darren Weir     Jul 12, 2012 in Health
Corvallis - Listen up all you teetotalers, a new study suggests moderate drinking may be good for the bones of post-menopausal women.
A new study has found that post-menopausal women who had one to two drinks of alcohol a day, several days a week, helped to reduce bone loss which puts them at a higher risk of Osteoporosis.
The Globe and Mail reports researchers at Oregon State University discovered that when the women stopped drinking for just a couple of weeks they had signs of increased bone loss, and when they resumed drinking in moderation, even after just one day, their bone turnover went back to normal. The women were not undergoing any hormone replacement therapy and had no history of Osteoporosis related fractures. Previous studies have shown that moderate drinkers have a higher bone density than non-drinkers or those who drink heavily. 90% of the women in the study are wine drinkers.
Science Daily quotes Urszula Iwaniec, associate professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU and one of the study's authors saying "Drinking moderately as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet and exercise may be beneficial for bone health, especially in postmenopausal women," "After less than 24 hours to see such a measurable effect was really unexpected."
The researchers say many of the medications used to treat Osteoporosis are expensive and have many side effects, but having a glass of wine or beer regularly, combined with exercise and a healthy diet, may be helpful to post-menopausal women.
WebMD says only 40 women were tested and Iwaniec says the research now needs to be repeated in larger groups to see if the findings hold up. Heidi Kalkwarf, PhD, professor of pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center who reviewed the study for WebMD says not all women want to drink, nor should this research make them start. "For women who do not wish to consume alcohol, there are other strategies to optimize health."
The study is published this month in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society .
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