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Drinking beer could help protect your bones
by Matthew - Monday, 26 July 2010, 11:08 PM
Beer is good for your bonesAccording to new research published earlier this year, drinking some beers could help protect your bones.  Beer is a rich source of dietary silicon which might help reduce your chances of developing diseases such as osteoporosis (in which bone mass declines), according to a study in the US.

But those made from malted barley and hops contain more silicon than those made with wheat. Some light lagers made from grains such as corn have the lowest levels of silicon, while beers made from hops seem to come out on top, according to researchers at University of California, Davis.

Their study, published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, involved examining 100 commercial beers and their production methods.

Charles Bamforth, lead author of the study and Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at the University of California, said: "Beers containing high levels of malted barley and hops are richest in silicon.”

Dr Claire Bowring, from the National Osteoporosis Society, has been quoted as saying: "These findings mirror results from previous studies which concluded that moderate alcohol consumption could be beneficial to bones.

"However, while the National Osteoporosis Society welcomes measures to improve bone health we do not recommend anyone increases their alcohol consumption on the basis of these studies."

Several large studies have also shown that moderate amounts of alcohol (around 2 units per day) can have a protective effect on certain diseases such as cardiovascular disease.

The recommended daily intake of alcohol is 3-4 units for men and 2-3 units for women. 3-4 units is equivalent to two standard glasses of wine (175ml; 12% ABV) or about 1 ½ pints of higher strength lager (4% ABV).  2-3 units of alcohol is equivalent to one large glass of wine (250ml; 12% ABV).  

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