Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones, causing them to become weak and fragile and more likely to break (fracture), occurring most commonly in the spine, wrist and hips. However, other alcoholic drinks, such as beer and spirits, fail to have the same effect.Researchers from the University of East Anglia and King’s College, London assessed over 1,000 pairs of female twins in Britain in their mid-fifties exploring the relationship between diet and fracture risk.
Dietary patterns in the post-menopausal women were monitored to see how food and drink correlated to the number of broken bones.
As well as being quizzed on their eating and drinking habits, volunteers underwent a series of scans measuring the thickness of their bones in the hip joint, the spine and the top of the femur - the major bone linking the thigh to the hip.
Results showed that wine had a positive impact on bone mineral density or BMD.
Meanwhile, a traditional English diet of fish and chips, baked beans, meat pies and cooked meats was found to have damaging effects on bone strength.
“Moderate intakes of alcohol from wine were associated with a higher bone mineral density and the consumption of a traditional 20th-century English diet was linked with a lower bone density,” the researchers said.
It’s not clear how wine can build bone strength but previous research suggests it may be due to chemicals, called polyphenols, found in the skin of grapes rather than the alcohol it contains.
The results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.