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Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology
Vol. 43 (1997) No. 3 P 369-375



The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of different degrees of alcohol ingestion on bone strength and mineraldensity. Three different groups of growing female rats were administered different doses of an alcohol-water solution for a period of 6 months. These three groups were divided into: 1) the control group, which was only given water; 2) the moderate group, which was given 5% ethanol solution for only 2 h per day; and 3) the excess group, which was given only 5 % ethanol solution for 163 days. This ethanol consumption induced no detrimental effect on biochemical parameters including liver function. The moderate group showed significantly higher (p<0.05) levels of proximal metaphysis as compared to the control group, while there was no difference between the excess group and the control group. Similarly, in comparison to the control group, the moderate group ex-hibited a significant increase (p<0.001) in bone mechanical strength, while the excess group showed either the same or decreased bone stiffness. These results indicate that alcohol intake has both beneficial and hinder-ing effects on the skeleton, depending on the concentration and frequency of ethanol intake.

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