Wine, Women, & Healthy Bones & RA
We've known for a long time that moderate drinking helps ward off heart disease. Now a new study has shown that women who have a drink or two a day are less likely to get osteoporosis. Yet another study found that moderate alcohol consumption tends to lower the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis in women. A word to the wise, however: As you might expect, excessive drinking raises health risks so be sure you don't overindulge.
The study that investigated the association of moderate drinking with bone health was done at Oregon State University in Corvallis and reported in Menopause. The authors wrote: "Abstinence from alcohol results in increased markers of bone turnover, whereas resumption of alcohol reduces bone turnover markers. These results suggest a cellular mechanism for the increased bone density observed in postmenopausal moderate alcohol consumers. Specifically, the inhibitory effect of alcohol on bone turnover attenuates the detrimental skeletal consequences of excessive bone turnover associated with menopause."
The research about RA was done in Sweden at the Karolinska Institutet and published in the online journal BMJ. The authors wrote: "The results of this study indicate that moderate consumption of alcohol may reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis among women. These results are in accordance with the inverse association between moderate alcohol consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease and add to the evidence that moderate alcohol consumption is not harmful and can be protective against such a chronic disease as rheumatoid arthritis. However, the effect of higher doses of alcohol on the risk of rheumatoid arthritis remains unknown . . . The present prospective study showed that women with a consistent consumption of more than three drinks a week for a period of at least 10 years had about half the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis compared with non-drinkers."