Beer good for bones

Drinking beer can be good for the
bones, and may prevent osteoporosis, according to a new study.

Beer can increase bone mineral
density due its dietary silicon content, the study by researchers from the
Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California
showed.

“We have examined a wide range
of beer styles for their silicon content and have also studied the impact of
raw materials and the brewing process on the quantities of silicon that enter
wort and beer,” said Charles Bamforth, lead author of the study.

According to the National
Institutes of Health, dietary silicon may be important for the growth and
development of bone and connective tissue, and beer appears to be a major contributor
to silicon intake.

The study suggests moderate beer
consumption may help fight osteoporosis, a disease of the skeletal system
characterised by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue.

Details of the study appeared in
the latest issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

The research showed that not all
beers are the same and stronger, darker beers with high levels of malted barley
and hops are richest in silicon, while lighter, wheat-based lagers contain less
silicon.

The
dietary intake of silicon in the USA is about 20-50mg
per day per person, with younger adults and males consuming the highest amount,
according to Dr. Bamforth.

“There is as yet no recommended
daily intake level for silicon. However on the basis of the average daily intake
of 20-50 mg, then it can be inferred… that on average, two litres of beer
will satisfy that, with one litre of some beers providing the higher level of
intake,” he said in the report.

Dr. Claire Bowring, from the
National Osteoporosis Society in the UK, said while her organisation welcomed
measures to improve bone health, she did not recommend anyone increases their
alcohol consumption on the basis of these studies.

FEATbeerSTORY

Study shows drinking a moderate amount of beer may be beneficial for bones.
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