Alcohol and osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones which makes them thin, soft and liable to collapse, especially in the pelvis and spine. It affects both men and women, although it is most common in women who have gone through the menopause.
Whilst the link between moderate alcohol consumption and osteoporosis is unclear, heavy drinking during adolescence and early adulthood, in particular, can dramatically affect bone health and may increase the risk of developing osteoporosis.
Although alcohol appears to have an effect on bone–forming cells, the exact way in which alcohol changes our bones is not well understood.
Heavy drinkers are more likely to suffer frequent fractures due to brittle bones and nerve damage, especially hip and spine fractures. Moreover, when you stop drinking, the jury is still out on whether your bones may fully recover.
To reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis, the best advice is to reduce your alcohol intake, and adopt other healthy lifestyle choices, like having a balanced diet with plenty of calcium, and not smoking.
Find out more about how alcohol can affect your health.