Beer is good for the bones

Posted by Emma Woollacott

You can add a daily pint of beer to your health-giving glass of red wine. A new study has found that it's brilliant for increasing bone density and warding off osteoporosis, especially in women. Hic!

Researchers from the University of California studied commercial beer production - it's a lousy job, but somebody's got to do it - to determine the relationship between beer production methods and the resulting silicon content.

"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, staggering slightly.

"Beers containing high levels of malted barley and hops are richest in silicon," concludes Dr Bamforth. "Wheat contains less silicon than barley because it is the husk of the barley that is rich in this element."

The study also tested 100 commercial beers for silicon content and categorized the data according to beer style and source. The average silicon content of the beers sampled was 6.4 to 56.5 mg/L.

We can all take pride in the fact that beer is apparently a major contributor to silicon intake in the Western diet.

You can read more about the study in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture; or carry out your own research at the local pub.