What Are The Effects Of Drugs Or Alcohol On The Skeletal System?


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Mark Henderson answered
Calcium is one of the skeletal system's most essential nutrients. It ensures that the bones are kept strong and healthy, and in young people is vital to bone development and the growing process.

Alcohol and drugs have destructive effects on calcium, meaning that the skeletal system does not get the level it needs in the body of a drug user or heavy drinker.

What are the effects of drugs or alcohol on the skeletal system?
  • When you consume too much alcohol the stomach finds it increasingly difficult to absorb calcium.
  • Alcohol and drug consumption also inhibit the pancreas's ability to absorb calcium and vitamin D.
  • The liver (another organ that is important in activating vitamin D) is badly affected by alcohol and drugs. Vitamin D increases calcium absorption.
  • In women, alcohol and drug use decreases estrogen levels. Estrogen is vital for the remodelling of bones, and slows down the natural process of bone loss.
  • Two bone-damaging hormones are accelerated by the intake of drugs and alcohol. Cortisol and parathroid hormones are produced in greater amounts, which decreases bone formation.
  • The essential bone-making cells, osteoblasts, are destroyed by drugs and alcohol - again leading to poor bone formation or the acceleration of bone loss.

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