Affect of Alcohol Consumption on Bone Density

Bone is a living tissue that continues to grow and remodel itself even after a person has attained full stature. Alcohol and bone density are closely related. Prolonged consumption of alcohol can interfere with bone growth and remodeling, resulting in decreased bone density and increased risk of fracture. Alcohol consumption can have a severe effect on the cells, hormones, and other growth factors that regulate bone metabolism. Alcohol consumption reduces peak bone mass. People who indulge in alcohol consumption during adolescence have relatively weak adult bones that are prone to fracture. The constant balance between the erosion and the remodeling of tissues can get disrupted contributing to alcoholic bone disease in adults.

The bone consists of living cells enclosed in a hard matrix of protein fibers and calcium crystals. There are two different kinds of bones, Cortical bone and Cancellous bone. The former type which is dense and thick, forms the outer layer of bones. The Cancellous bone is a porous meshwork of thin plates occurs mostly within the ends of long bones and in the vertebrae. Alcohol consumption can have a serious effect on both types of bone; however noticeable changes can be observed in cancellous bone. The bone mass can get affected. The decreased bone mass can result in increased fracture and early onset of osteoporosis.

Bones not only form the structural framework, bones act as a major storage depot for calcium and other minerals. An adequate concentration of calcium in the bloodstream is required for the proper functioning of nerves and muscle. The body monitors calcium concentration and responds through the action of hormones, vitamins and other growth factors to regulate the distribution of calcium between blood and bone. Alcohol consumption can disrupt this balance by affecting the hormones that control calcium metabolism as well as the hormones that influence calcium metabolism indirectly.

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