Red Wine May Improve Bone Density

Resveratrol increased spinal bone mineral density in men with metabolic syndrome

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) People with low bone density may want to raise a glass of red wine. A recent study on red wine's natural compounds says drink up.

This study looked at the health effects of resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, grapes and nuts. Middle-aged men with metabolic syndrome took doses of the compound for 16 weeks to see if their bone density improved.

At the end of the study, those men had higher bone density than men who did not take resveratrol.

"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," said lead study author Marie Juul Ornstrup, MD, of Aarhus University in Denmark.

The authors of the study said resveratrol could play a role in osteoporosis treatment in the future. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become brittle and less dense.

Researchers studied 66 men with metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that often occur in obese people. Metabolic syndrome is tied to inflammation, which sometimes leads to bone loss.

The patients took daily doses of resveratrol or a placebo (fake medicine) for 16 weeks.

The study authors looked at the patients' bone density before and after their resveratrol treatment.

Men who took the largest dose of resveratrol, 500 milligrams daily, had a 2.6 percent higher increase in bone density in their spines than the men on the placebo.

The high-dosage group also had 16 percent higher levels of bone alkaline phosphate, a substance that signals bone growth.

One fluid ounce of red wine averages around 90 micrograms of resveratrol. Therefore, these 500 mg resveratrol treatment provide approximately 5,000 times the amount of resveratrol found in one fluid ounce of red wine.

The authors of the study suggested that resveratrol may stimulate bone formation.

The study was published Oct. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The Danish Council for Strategic Research funded the study. The authors did not disclose any conflicts of interest.

Review Date: 
October 16, 2014
Last Updated:
December 31, 2014