Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More evidence low-moderate alcohol consumption does not impair vitamin D status in women

Date:
April 28, 2010
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Whether alcoholic drinks provide health benefits is an area of active and on-going research and debate among health and nutrition experts. A new study finds that low to moderate alcohol consumption, at least over the short term, appears not to harm bone health.

For as long as our ancestors have been drawing pictograms or writing prose about food and culture, humans have been imbibing various forms of alcohol. Once simply a process by which nutritious beverages could be preserved and stored for later use, there is no doubt that the production and consumption of wines, beers, and spirits now provides integral texture to the fabric of many cultures.

Related Articles


However, whether alcoholic drinks provide health benefits is an area of active and on-going debate and research among health and nutrition experts. For instance, moderate alcohol consumption is linked to increased risks of some forms of cancer. Conversely, drinking in reasonable amounts is associated with protection from cardiovascular disease and premature death.

Because many of the studies that have been conducted on this topic have utilized epidemiologic (observational) study designs, they unfortunately cannot provide definitive information on whether alcohol actually influences health or is just related to other lifestyle factors that are actually more physiologically relevant. Indeed, one of the basic tenets of scientific method is the phrase "correlation does not infer causation." In other words, just because people who drink alcohol tend to have fewer heart attacks does not mean that drinking alcohol actually prevents heart disease. In addition, there is a relative dearth of information on low to moderate alcohol consumption and bone health, especially in women. This may be particularly important because alcoholics tend to have weak bones -- possibly due to low levels of vitamin D which would hinder absorption of dietary calcium in the small intestine.

To help fill in a knowledge gap in this area, researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the US Department of Agriculture ARS Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center teamed up to rigorously test whether they could demonstrate any negative effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption on bone health in postmenopausal women. As part of the scientific program of the American Society for Nutrition, home to the world's leading nutrition researchers, results from this study were presented on April 27, 2010 at the Experimental Biology 2010 meeting in Anaheim by Dr. Somdat Mahabir.

This study was part of the Women's Alcohol Study which involved 51 postmenopausal women who did not smoke or use hormone replacement therapy. The research team measured the effects of controlled alcohol consumption during three periods of time. In one of these experimental periods, subjects consumed an alcohol-free beverage once each day. During the other two, they consumed either 15 or 30 g of nearly pure alcohol (Everclear) served up in orange juice. These amounts of alcohol are equivalent to 1 or 2 glasses, respectively, of wine or a bottle of beer. Each study period lasted for 8 weeks, during which time all meals were also provided to the women- either in the USDA's Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center or provided as "take-out" for the weekends.

The good news for those of us who enjoy a glass or two of wine or beer with dinner or at the football game, is that the scientists did not find any negative effects of either dose of alcohol on circulating levels of vitamin D. Low to moderate intake also did not affect a variety of markers (single-nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs) which influence alcohol metabolism. These results suggest that the relationship previously documented between alcohol consumption and bone disease in alcoholics may only be seen in very heavy drinkers, or may be due to something other than the alcohol itself.

Dr. Mahabir concluded that "It looks like low to moderate alcohol consumption, at least over the short term, does not harm bone health. Collectively, when all the available published epidemiologic data are considered, it looks like low to moderate alcohol may actually have a beneficial effect." In the end, nutritional scientists once again remind us that all foods and beverages can be part of a healthful diet and urge us to carefully balance the risks against the benefits of our daily dietary choices.

Dr. Somdat Mahabir (National Cancer Institute); Dr. David Baer (US Department of Agriculture); Dr. Ruth Pfeiffer (National Cancer Institute), and Dr. Philip Taylor (National Cancer Institute) were coauthors on this paper.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "More evidence low-moderate alcohol consumption does not impair vitamin D status in women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427131355.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2010, April 28). More evidence low-moderate alcohol consumption does not impair vitamin D status in women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427131355.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "More evidence low-moderate alcohol consumption does not impair vitamin D status in women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427131355.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins