A study looking at the relationship between bone density and drinking wine found a surprising correlation. Scientists analyzing how to increase bone density found that menopausal women who drank moderate amounts of alcohol had a higher bone mass than those who abstained from drinking wine.

Loss of bone mass is common as we age. However, post-menopausal women are particularly likely to suffer from osteoporosis, a disorder where the bones become porous, brittle and fracture easily. The two main causes of osteoporosis and poor bone mass are: excessive bone turnover and a negative imbalance as bone resorption exceeds the rate of bone replacement.

Measuring the Relationship between Wine and Bone Density

The test measured the bone mineral density of the women, who all regularly consumed moderate amounts of alcohol. Scientists measured bone density by recording the bone formation marker osteocalcin and the C-terminal telopeptide (CTx) bone resorption marker in each participant. Measurements were taken at the start of the study; again after the withdrawal of alcohol for 14 days, and finally once drinking alcohol was resumed.

In the study, the markers clearly showed a positive relationship between drinking alcohol, including wine, and bone density. The markers indicated that abstinence from alcohol showed an increase in the markers, which indicated an increased level of bone turnover. When drinking alcohol was resumed, the turnover markers reduced, showing a slowing in the rate of bone loss.

RelatedRed Wine and its Connection to Longevity

This is good news for menopausal women looking for an answer to how to increase bone density. Drinking wine or alcohol in moderate amounts inhibits the excessive rate of bone turnover associated with menopause, which over time would lower bone loss.

A similar study on men with metabolic syndrome found that resveratrol, found in red wine, improved the bone density of participants, compared to those who took a placebo.

Government guidelines for drinking alcohol are one standard drink per day for women. This equates to 12 fluid ounces of beer or a five ounce glass of wine, and bone density should then be significantly helped.