Two new studies give more health reasons to sip—or skip—that alcoholic drink.
If you enjoy a glass of wine or beer with dinner, you’ve probably already heard the good news (it might boost your good “HDL”
cholesterol)—as well as the bad (it could also elevate your blood pressure). Two new studies give more health reasons to
sip—or skip—that alcoholic drink.
Glass Half Empty: Women who drink even one alcoholic beverage a day have an increased risk of
some cancers (especially breast cancer), according to new research done at Oxford on nearly 1.3 million women. Says lead
author Naomi Allen, Ph.D., “There is mounting evidence that even drinking alcohol in moderation can increase estrogen, which
in turn directly raises the risk of breast cancer.”
Glass Half Full: Cheers to stronger bones! According to a new study out of Tufts University,
drinking alcohol in moderation might help keep bones strong—in men and postmenopausal women, who have lower levels of
estrogen (which helps to maintain bone mass). The study found a stronger association between bone density and drinking beer
and wine, compared to liquor, indicating that it’s more than just alcohol that boosts bone health. Beer and wine contain
silicon, a mineral that promotes bone formation. Wine also contains polyphenols that may stimulate bone-building, explains
lead study author Katherine L. Tucker, Ph.D.
Bottom Line: Alcohol, in moderation, can be part of a healthy lifestyle, Tucker says. But you
have to weigh your personal risks: for example, if you have a strong family history of cancer, you may want to opt for
mocktails more often.
Remember: A glass of wine or a bottle of beer contains calories—and maybe more than you think.
5 oz. wine = 125 calories
12 oz. beer = 150 calories
1 Mixed drink (piña colada, margarita) = 300+ calories