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Issue 28 Synovium (Autumn 2009)
Good news for beer-drinking ladies! A Spanish study1 involving 1697 healthy women found that those reporting regular beer consumption had higher bone densities than those who did not – or than those reporting wine consumption. It was not reported which brands of beer were optimally associated with higher bone density and clearly further prospective studies are needed before we can offer specific advice to our patients. Before gentlemen become too enthusiastic the authors suggested that these beneficial effects might be due to the phyto-oestrogens present in beer. And we should point out that excessive alcohol consumption is associated with many adverse health consequences, including low bone density – so no more than 2–3 units per day.