Bright and early yesterday I heard NPR report the results of study of women who stopped drinking alcohol for 2 weeks. The researcher measured the bone turnover markers and concluded that the alcohol had the effect of slowing the bone remodeling process.
Red flags went off for me – but I listened to the end of the report and thankfully the author included a quote from a scientist who admits that studies can be misinterpreted and we must be careful about the impact of their conclusions and the messages we might send.
OK – excellent. Crisis averted.
Then, later that day, the alerts about news coverage exploded!
“Study Finds Wine Boosts Bone Health” Examiner.com
“Ladies, Drink to Your (Bone) Health” – Newsday
“Say Cheers to Bone Health” allvoices.com
“Alcohol Good for Bone Health in Women” ABC7 – Chicago
The worst I read included was from my hometown news WRAL whose lead was “There may be new medicine to help prevent bone loss, but it’s not found in pharmacies. Restaurants, bars and ABC liquor stores could hold the key. Women who want to prevent osteoporosis may want to raise their glass.”
I am not a humorless person and I do enjoy wine, but I was shocked with the implications of so many responsible news outlets.
Let’s not kid ourselves – a serving of wine is 5 ounces – a tad over ½ cup. That’s not much. Epidemiological studies have shown that chronic consumption of more than 3 serving a day (15 ounces or 1½ cups) increases risk of fracture.
Moderation = good. Sensational headlines = bad.