Wine could protect against brittle bones

A compound found in red wine could help protect from brittle bones, according to a recent study.

140521133617-largeAccording to a group of Danish scientists resveratrol, a natural compound found in red wine, grapes and nuts, could one day be used to treat osteoporosis.

The study, published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, focused on men with metabolic syndrome – a cluster of risk factors which includes obesity and low-grade inflammation that can cause bone loss.

It saw 66 middle-aged men with the syndrome monitored over 16 weeks with each man given either a 500mg or 75mg dose of resveratrol, or a placebo twice a day.

At the end of the trial, men who had taken the higher dose of resveratrol had a 2.6% increase in lumbar spine bone mineral density compared to men who had taken the placebo, and a 16% increase in bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP) compared to the control group.

Marie Juul Ørnstrup, MD, of Aarhus University Hospital in Aarhus, Denmark, said: “In just four months on high-dose resveratrol, we saw significant improvements in bone mineral density at the spine and elevated levels of the bone formation marker BAP. These are encouraging results. Additional research is needed to assess whether these bone protective effects occur in populations at risk of osteoporosis during the course of long-term treatment.”

Resveratrol, one of a group of plant compounds known as polyphenols, is found in red wine, grapes and nuts and has previously been found to have anti-inflammatory properties and protect against bone loss in mice and rats.

Ørnstrup added: “Our study is the first to reveal resveratrol’s potential as an anti-osteoporosis drug in humans. Our findings suggest the compound stimulates bone-forming cells within the body.”

The benefits of resveratrol have long been known by medical professionals who in the past have indicated its potential for protecting against everything from obesity to heart disease.

Check out the most recent red wine health claims here.

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