Alcohol and Menopause: Yes or No?

It seems that drinking to the onset of menopause can be beneficial. The main thing is not to overdo it.

Menopause occurs when the ovaries stop secreting enough sex hormones and a woman’s period ends. On average, this occurs around the age of fifty. Certain habits, such as drinking, can make a woman’s “transitional age” unbearable or even dangerous. But if alcoholism is definitely bad for your health, a glass or two of wine a week may even be beneficial. At least some studies suggest this.

Arguments for”

Moderate dose of alcohol can increase the amount of female sex hormones and slow down their excretion from the body. This is due to the ability of ethanol to stimulate the conversion of androgens to estrogens. This isn’t always good, but let’s take a look at the positives first.

Protects the heart

Along with a decrease in estrogen levels, the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) increases. Before menopause, women are much better protected from this scourge than men. With menopause, the chances of getting heart problems become many times higher.

It turns out that if alcohol increases estrogen content, it works as a prophylaxis for coronary artery disease. This is only true for moderate consumption. As soon as the amount drunk goes over two glasses a day, the likelihood of dying from heart disease increases… Same confirms 2012 study: More than 13 drinks per week in postmenopausal women increases the risk of death.

More recent work suggests that the protective functions of alcohol may be exaggerated… Perhaps it’s all the same in genetics, and not in the life-giving power of alcohol.

Prevents osteoporosis

With a decrease in estrogen, bone breakdown occurs faster than bone renewal. This leads to osteoporosis – fragility and a high risk of fractures. Researchers unexpectedly discoveredthat moderately drinking women after fifty have denser bones. It turned out that alcohol can slow down the rate of skeletal remodeling.

In 2017, scientists confirmedthat alcohol has a positive effect on the mineral composition of the bones of older women. They found that this works as long as the number of drinks does not exceed four per week. The risk of developing osteoporosis in both teetotalers and heavy drinkers was almost twice as high as in those who drank occasionally.

Reduces the risk of diabetes

Several experiments identifiedthat in postmenopausal women, alcohol reduces the risk of developing diabetes. Possible explanation This is because alcohol increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. The protective effect was again related to the dose of the drinks consumed. Up to 30 grams of alcohol a day works for prevention, more – exacerbates health problems.

Arguments against”

Now why skipping a drink after menopause can be harmful.

Increases mortality from breast cancer

It was discoveredthat alcohol increases the likelihood of breast cancer. The risk of cancer in women rises by about 9% for every 10 grams of alcohol per day.

The link between alcohol and cancer is indirect. there is hypothesisthat the likelihood of becoming an oncological patient is aggravated along with the use of hormone replacement therapy. Alcohol traps estrogen in the body, and an increased concentration of the hormone promotes tumor processes in the mammary gland. Among women who have never taken HRT, there was no difference in cancer risk between nondrinkers and moderate drinkers.

Another version is that alcohol slows down the metabolism in the liver and prevents the removal of carcinogens from the body. In addition, the liver converts alcohol into a toxic substance, acetaldehyde, which directly damages cells and their genetic makeup. Despite the fact that alcohol has been proven to provoke the occurrence of breast cancer, it does not aggravate the course of an already begun process.

Worsens hot flashes

Another downside to alcohol is that it makes menopause symptoms more severe. Daily alcohol consumption is significant increases the risk hot flashes and night sweats. By the way, smoking also aggravates hot flashes.

Increases anxiety

Drinking is bad for mental health. A couple of years ago, researchers tried provethat a glass of wine with dinner does not increase the risk of depression. Alas, the results were not in favor of the scientists. They found no clear protective link between moderate alcohol consumption and depression in older adults.

How much alcohol is safe for the health of an adult woman?


  • Moderate consumption is defined as no more than seven drinks per week and no more than three servings per day.
  • Severe – exceeding this norm.
  • Drunkenness is such an amount that in two hours the blood alcohol level reaches 0.08 g / dl. That’s about four servings.

Scientific research shows that alcohol itself is not so much harmful as its quantity. Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages negates all the “protective” properties of ethanol and enhances its negative effects. You can still raise a glass with the onset of menopause. The main thing is not to cross the border of reason.


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