Protect your bone strength by following these smart tips.
Drinking alcohol to excess is undeniably harmful to your bones. Heavy drinkers are more prone to bone loss and accidental falls, which can result in fractures. That said, preliminary research suggests that light drinking may actually help preserve bone strength. In a study of hundreds of women ages 65 to 77, researchers discovered that women who did not drink alcohol at all had the lowest bone density of all. Bone density was highest in women who drank two to four alcoholic drinks per week (not per day!). Women who drank more than four alcoholic drinks per week had lower total bone mineral density (although still higher than nondrinkers). Scientists believe that small amounts of alcohol may reduce bone breakdown, perhaps by increasing levels of estrogen. I don't recommend nondrinkers to start imbibing as a way to maintain bone density — however, if you do drink, you can continue to do so in moderation without fear of weakening your bones. For overall good health, women should limit their intake to no more than one drink per day; men should have no more than two drinks per day.