08 February 2010

Ale good for your bones, too?

Over the past several years, the magazine New Scientist has gotten increasingly more like Popular Science --anything to get a headline in the mainstream press, anything to present a sound bite of science.  I guess the next step would be aiming for USA Today brevity.

Well, here's their latest nugget:

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.
 More at the link.  Calcium's still better, though, so drink your milk.

(Tip o' the hat: Instapundit.)

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