The best part about having a grandma who is nearly 106 years of age is that she comes with a wealth of life experiences that always seem to have some impact or significance on whatever I am writing. To me, she is both a medical miracle and a medical anomaly! She is made of steel, has perpetual life batteries, and has no “off” button! I usually find some way to incorporate her into my articles on bones and joints, and today’s story is no exception.
Recently, I elaborated on the harmful effects of cigarette smoking on overall bone health. Today, I am focusing on the effects of alcohol consumption on our bones. Bear in mind, my grandmother is not a woman who slams down drink after drink. In fact, she rarely consumes alcohol, but when she does, it has to be a margarita…with extra salt on the rim. However, in light of the copious amounts of salt she loves to consume (she is well-preserved and would probably salt a banana or a dish of ice cream before eating it – just for added flavor!), it would probably encourage most any bartender to fill the glass with salt and put the ‘rita on the rim!
Now, if we added up all of the margaritas Grandma has enjoyed over the years – and there are plenty of years with which to work here – it could add up to a lot! Not knowing her for the first 60 years of her life, I cannot comment on the habits of her younger days, and, again, in my life span, I have only seen her drink a margarita on rare occasions. She is not a closet drinker. She is a closet salt-eater. (Note to self: idea for future article on the effects of excess sodium consumption on one’s bones and joints! May cause increased life expectancy!)
However, does drinking alcohol to any degree have a negative impact on our bone health, or does it take a huge amount of alcohol to create damage to our bones?