Dr. Siris explains how drinking alcohol affects women's bone health.
Alcohol affects the bone in very interesting ways. First of all, smaller amounts of alcohol don’t seem to hurt bone at all. You can have one or two drinks a day quite safely. You may not want to do it for other reasons but from a bone point of view it’s okay, but if you drink excessive alcohol it does two things I think – one is that it affects the metabolism of bone in a way that isn’t good for the structure and the quality of bone.
But the second thing that alcohol does is many people when they’re intoxicated fall down a lot. If you fall down and you have weaker bones you’re more likely to break them. And finally, in individuals who are truly alcoholic their nutrition isn’t very good, that has a bad effect on bone. They fall down a lot, they may break bone and of course there are the metabolic things I mentioned earlier.
About Dr. Ethel Siris, M.D.:
Dr. Ethel S. Siris is the Director at the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center, Columbia University, is the Madeline C. Stabile Professor of Medicine at Columbia University, and is the immediate past-President for the National Osteoporosis Foundation. She is board certified in endocrinology and internal medicine, focusing on osteoporosis, metabolic bone disease, and bone and mineral metabolism.