Bone density in women improved by drinking beer

This isn’t an endorsement for women to go out and get hammered everyday but as with all things moderate drinking of beer appears to be beneficial for women’s bone density.

In a study conducted at the University of Extremadura in Caceres, Spain, scientists had 1,697 healthy women, 811 of whom were postmenopausal and 176 were going through menopause, fill out questionnaires that asked about smoking and levels of alcohol, caffeine and nutritional consumption. As well the women agreed to undergo ultrasound scan to measure the density of their bones.

The researchers found that participants who reported drinking beer on a regular basis tended to have greater bone density than those who did not drink beer or who tended to consume wine.

Reporting their findings in Nutrition journal, they suggested that “the greater bone density found in women beer drinkers might be a result of the phytoestrogen content of this alcoholic drink”.

Phytoestrogens are plant hormones that are similar to the human hormone oestrogen and which may therefore help to replenish low levels of oestrogen following the menopause.

Source: Arthritis Research Campaign – Moderate beer consumption linked to improved bone strength

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The key here is moderation as other studies have also found that drinking alcohol to excess can lead to weaken bones.