Moderate alcohol consumption could help protect women against brittle bone disease, according to a new study.

Researchers at London’s St Thomas Hospital examined the effect of alcohol on 46 pairs of identical twins, who drank either moderately or very little.

The moderate drinkers – who drank an average of eight alcohol units a week – had significantly denser bones than those who consumed very little.

The research findings were published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Researchers focused on the bone mineral density of subjects, as measured at the hip and spine.

Chemical markers of the bone turnover were measured using urine samples.

The findings also support the results of previous studies which found that smoking causes thinner bones and osteoporosis.

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