If you really want to take care of yourself and make sure your bones are as strong as they can be, drink beer. (That wasn't a typo. We really meant beer.)
A new analysis of dozens of commercial beers shows it is a significant source of dietary silicon, which is a key ingredient for bone health, reports LiveScience.com.
While previous research has shown that beer is packed with dietary silicon, various types and brands of beer have different levels, depending on the amount of hops and the malting process that is used.
So Charles Bamforth and Troy Casey, professors in the department of food science and technology at the University of California, Davis, purchased 100 commercial beers from a grocery store and measured their silicon content, which ranged from 6.4 milligrams/liter to 56.5 milligrams/liter, with an average of 30 milligrams/liter. Two beers total about one liter. The researchers recommend adults consume between 20 to 50 milligrams of silicon a day.
The silicon levels of various types of beer, on average:
- Indian Pale Ale (IPA): 41.2 milligrams/liter
- Ales: 32.8 milligrams/liter
- Pale Ale: 36.5 milligrams/liter
- Sorghum: 27.3 milligrams/liter
- Lagers: 23.7 milligrams/liter
- Wheat: 18.9 milligrams/liter
- Light lagers: 17.2 milligrams/liter
- Non Alcoholic: 16.3 milligrams/liter
"Beers containing high levels of malted barley and hops are richest in silicon," Bamforth told LiveScience.com. "Wheat contains less silicon than barley because it is the husk of the barley that is rich in this element. While most of the silicon remains in the husk during brewing, significant quantities of silicon nonetheless are extracted into wort and much of this survives into beer."
The takeaway: "Choose the beer you enjoy. Drink it in moderation," Bamforth told LiveScience. "It is contributing silicon (and more) to your good health."
The study findings were published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.
--From the Editors at Netscape