Have A Pint! Beer May Help Prevent Osteoporosis


Image credit: iStockphoto via Science DailyImage credit: iStockphoto via Science Daily Pretty soon, we're going to be a very happy nation and it will all be sanctioned by the medical establishment.  Aside from those with serious illnesses getting to take a few legal hits on a marijuana joint daily, our glass or two of wine a day has been shown to support cardiovascular health.  Now, we learn that beer, particularly beer with high levels of malted barley and hops, is good for our bones!

Osteoporosis affects more than 28 million persons a year, mostly post-menopausal women. But men are not immune to the thinning of bone tissue by any means.  Osteoporosis makes bones especially fragile, which is why older persons are very susceptible to bone breakage when they fall.

The news of beer's potential to provide strength to our bones comes from the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California (UC) at Davis.  In its study reported in the February 8, 2010 online issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, the researchers report that the content of dietary silicon (Si), important for bone and connective tissue health, in barley retains its high Si content even after the malting process.

Subsequently, the researchers examines 100 commercial beers for silicon content and found those with both high silicon levels and a high level of hops are the richest in silicon. Those beers just happen to be among the most popular small brewery specialties emerging in the U.S. - the India Pale Ales.  Pale ales made with barley have more silicon because they are not exposed to the high levels of heat that the darker, more malty, chocolaty beers.  Wheat does not contain as much silicon as barley and, for this reason, wheat beers are not a high source of silicon.

The average silicon content of the beers sampled was 6.4 to 56.5 mg/L.  I have found that RateBeers.com is a great resource for all kinds of information about beer.  Here is a link to the India Pale Ale page, so you can find the most tasty beer for your bone health!

via Science Daily