Excessive alcohol consumption or binge drinking — as it is referred to — negatively impacts bone density, especially among teenage girls.
Binge drinking is associated with lower bone health in adolescent girls and young adult women, according to a study published in the medical journal Journal of Alcohol and Alcohol Studies.
As part of this study, 87 students were recruited and asked to complete lifestyle questionnaires that included information on exercise, nutrition, smoking habits, and alcohol use. Then, the participants underwent measurements of bone density in the lower back, on the lumbar spine.
The analysis revealed that women with a history of heavy drinking since high school had lower bone mass. The study defined excessive drinking as four or more drinks in two hours frequently and twice a month on average.
Some of the short-term risks of excessive drinking may include alcohol intoxication, car accidents, poor school performance and sexual assault, but also bone problems.
“This study identifies a potential consequence of excessive drinking among young women,” said lead researcher Joseph LaBrie, a professor of psychology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
The results suggest that girls who regularly drink alcohol can not reach their peak bone mass. Since bone mass increases during adolescence and begins to decrease between the ages of 20 and 40. Women also experience a faster decline after menopause.
Having low bone mass can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, as well as the likelihood of suffering from fractures.
To maintain healthy bones, experts recommend adequate physical activity such as walking, running, and muscle building. The diet should include the recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D found in almonds, broccoli, kale, dairy and soy, eggs, oily fish and sun exposure .