This study involves an examination of the risk factors for bone fractures among alcoholics. The authors studied a number of possible factors for bone health in a group of 90 alcoholic men in a hospital. Testing was done of hormones related to bone health and bone density. Nutritional factors and liver function studies were done also, and evidence of fractures was sought on X-rays of the patients.
Forty-nine of the patients had one or more fractures, and those with previous fractures did not show differences from others regarding bone mineral density. Lean body mass was lower in those who had fractures, and those with fractures showed subjective evidence of poor nutritional status, lower vitamin D blood levels, and irregular eating habits. Serum vitamin D levels were low in people with reduced grip strength. Only low vitamin D and subjectively poor nutrition were statistically related to fractures. Poor nutritional status was related to eating snacks instead of healthy meals, eating in bars instead of at home, and not eating in a family-type setting.
Low lean mass, low fat mass, and irregular eating habits were more common in people who only had rib fractures. In fact, twelve out of 49 people with fractures had very poor nutrition. Of the patients with multiple rib fractures, only about 18% had normal nutritional patterns. Of people without evidence of fractures, 42% had normal nutritional patterns. People with multiple fractures seemed to be the ones with most severe liver disease, but they had better nutrition than those with rib fractures.
CONCLUSION: Increased risk of rib fractures in alcoholics appears to be related to poor nutrition, low lean body mass and low vitamin D levels. Multiple fractures are more common in people with more severe liver disease.
NOTE: The reason for grip weakness in the presence of low vitamin D levels was not explained, but may be due to mild vitamin D deficiency myopathy. The usual blood test for vitamin D is 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D-3.
To read the author’s abstract of the article click on the author’s title of the article. Then to read the full article, click on the free full text icon.
Rainbow Grocery sells the following products: Vitamin D, in liquids, tablets, and capsules.
Summary #960. nutrientmedicine