Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Beer! It's Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

No, it's for your brittle bones, too:
A beer a day could keep brittle bones at bay. That's because beer is rich in silicon, an element that has been linked to bone health. But what type of beer should you drink?

Previous studies have shown that silicon can aid bone growth, and that moderate beer drinking is linked to increased bone density. Now Charles Bamforth and Troy Casey at the University of California, Davis, have discovered how much silicon each type of beer contains.

They analysed 100 beers from around the world and found that the brews contained between 6.4 and 56 milligrams of silicon per litre, with an average of 29 milligrams per litre. Looking at the silicon levels in beer's ingredients, they found that most of it comes from the husks of malted barley.

The pair found that lighter-coloured beers made from pale malted barley and hops, such as pale ales, are richest in silicon, while low-alcohol beers contain the least, along with stouts, porters and wheat beers.

See, my beer brewing hobby is more about staying healthy than it is about, uh, drinking beer. I'm battling osteoporosis. Yeah, that's what I'm doing.

I call that great news.

(Via Instapundit.)


  1. Hey Pete thanks for the post- I missed that on Insty link too.
    Silicon is the second most abundant element on earth (after oxygen). There's plenty of it out here too: sand is silicon dioxide.

    Not to suggest that people wreck their teeth by chewing sand, but I'd much rather pound beers than sand anyday.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Bruce, and for the chemistry lesson. Yep, there's gotta be a better way to get your silicon than eating sand. It's mighty convenient beer's one of them, no?

  3. So, lemme get this straight. Drinking a 40oz of Old English is better than drinking a pint of Guinness? Blasphemy! :P

  4. Hey, Tams. But like all good studies, the conclusion is unmistakable: more study must be done. So I'd say you should get right on that controversy of which is better and report your findings!