(HealthDay News) – For postmenopausal women, there are increased levels of markers of bone turnover with alcohol abstinence, while resumption of alcohol intake reduces levels of these markers.

To examine whether moderate alcohol intake attenuates bone turnover after menopause, Jill A. Marrone, from Oregon State University in Corvallis, and colleagues determined bone mineral density in 40 healthy postmenopausal women (mean age, 56.3 years) who consumed 19 ± 1g alcohol per day. At baseline and after 14 days of alcohol withdrawal, immunohistochemistry was used to measure the serum levels of bone formation marker osteocalcin and resorption marker C-terminal telopeptide (CTx). Participants then consumed alcohol, and assays were performed on the following morning.

The researchers observed a positive correlation between bone mineral density at the trochanter and total hip with the level of alcohol consumption. Compared with the previous day, osteocalcin and CTx decreased following alcohol readministration, with values that were no different from baseline.

“Our findings support the hypothesis that moderate dietary alcohol consumption may slow bone loss in postmenopausal women by attenuating increased bone turnover,” the authors write. “Further studies are required to determine if moderate dietary alcohol consumption, in addition to lowering biochemical markers of bone turnover, alters the negative bone remodeling balance in postmenopausal women.”

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