Jul 14th, 2012 | By | Category: For Senior Women

New Information About Drinking Wine

Research into cardiovascular/heart disease, the #1 killer of senior citizens in the United States, has been ongoing since 1948 when the Framingham Heart Study was launched. The milestones of that study are remarkable, all the way from 1960 when the researchers first linked cigarette smoking to heart disease to 2002 when obesity was finally identified as a marker of cardiovascular disease.

The Framingham study also first studied the relationship between moderate alcohol drinkers and higher bone density; most recently a study at Oregon State University discovered that post-menopausal women who stopped drinking alcohol for two weeks had an increase in bone turnover blood markers, meaning increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures.   (Read about bone turnover blood markers here.) Their bone density diminished in just two weeks.  The study tells us that alcohol might actually lower the rate of bone turnover in senior post menopausal women.  Bone turnover is a risk factor for osteoporosis, and this study revealed the risk diminished with one to two drinks a night.

Limitations on Drinking Alcohol

So for senior women who enjoy that glass of wine or a cocktail in the evening, this is good news.  However, let’s not get carried away yet.  The limitations are very clear:

  • the study only addresses post menopausal women;  you 20 and 30 and 40 year olds can forget about this being a good excuse to drink.  You are likely not post menopausal, and the study results do not apply to you.  (Editor Comment:  Now what makes me think 20 and 30 and 40 year olds are reading this article??!!)  You 20-40+ year olds are still building bone mass.  You are not yet at risk for osteoporosis.  You are at risk for alcoholism and cardiovascular disease if you drink too much.
  • the study is clear:  one to one and a half drinks per night is the limit that might produce beneficial results for bones. Anything more than a glass of wine or a cocktail a night (1.5 on average) has the potential to completely negate the positive effects.  Especially if you are falling-down-drunk and break a bone in the process of falling.

SCJ editors share this information, with appropriate documentation, for our readers who enjoy that evening cocktail or glass of wine.  Any readers who interpret this post as permission to drink excessively on a regular basis need professional help to address substance abuse issues.




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