Study: Beer Builds Strong Bones
Scientists have kept the secret to strong bones bottled up for years. Now, a new study has raised the bar on the list of nutrients that could have benefits. NewsCenter 5's Rhonda Mann said that the good news is pouring out -- beer builds bones.
A new study shows beer is rich in the mineral silicon. Researchers said that learning which parts of our diet have high concentrations of silicon may be key to preventing osteoporosis.
"Animals that are deprived of silicon have poorly developed skeletons and the muscular system is also poorly developed," Hebrew Rehabilitation Center's Dr. Douglas Kiel said.
The study found that men get up to 33 percent more silicon in their diet than women. The source for men ahead of most of the others is beer, researchers said.
As for women, the highest dietary sources included green beans, cereal and mineral water.
But it's the grain in beer that appears to provide an easily absorbable form of silicon. Boston Beerworks Brewmaster Herb Lindtveit said that locally micro-brewed varieties have the purest grains, but any beer will do.
"All beers have some barley in them," Lindveit said. "The enzymes in the grain actually convert some of the starches into sugars and the sugars are what ferment to create the beer."
Others agree that this recent research is refreshing. But some warn the real benefit is in the combination of nutrients, such as calcium, and vitamins D and K.
"Silicon is not a magic bullet in bone health. It's just another key player in this effect that helps us have healthy bones," Tufts Nutrition School's Dr. Ann McDermott said.
So keep drinking that milk. But raise your glass to a new ally for an old ale-ment.
Non-alcoholic beer also is made from barley, so there is reason to suspect it also would be a good source. The study appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.