Moderate drinking may help keep bones strong, according to researchers at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York. In the May issue of the American Journal of Medicine, the researchers report that they found that people who drank a half to one alcoholic beverage a day were 20 percent less likely to suffer from hip fractures than those who did not.

However, people who consumed more than two drinks per day had an almost 40 percent increased risk of hip fractures. The researchers stress that the bone benefits of alcohol consumption were only recorded for moderate intakes, and that alcoholism is a well-known risk factor for osteoporosis.
The researchers warn that many other factors besides alcohol intake can influence a person’s risk for osteoporosis, such as family history, weight, calcium intake and smoking history. “Each person has to evaluate their own risk, and no one who doesn’t drink should start drinking based on this research,” says lead researcher Karina Berg.