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Drinking beer could help prevent weak bones!

All you beer drinking sluts listen up! I've got great news for you courtesy of The Guardian. Not that you really need another reason to enjoy that cold pint of beer right? But if your wife, girlfriend or mother nags about your drinking habit, tell them to read this post!!

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A new study claims that certain types of beer are a rich source of dietary silicon, and can help prevent osteoporosis.

Beer is a rich source of a nutrient that can help prevent weak bones – but it depends what type you drink, claim researchers at University of California, Davis, today.

As one of the nation's favourite tipples, beer is a rich source of dietary silicon, which can help cut the chance of developing diseases like osteoporosis, they conclude.

However, not all beers are the same, with those containing malted barley and hops having higher silicon content than beers made from wheat.

Some light lagers made from grains like corn have the lowest levels of silicon while beers made from hops seem to come out on top, according to the study. The research, published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, examined 100 commercial beers and their production methods.

The experts said beer was a major source of dietary silicon – roughly half of the silicon in beer can be readily absorbed by the body.

Charles Bamforth, lead author of the study, said: "Beers containing high levels of malted barley and hops are richest in silicon.

"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."

Dr Claire Bowring, from the National Osteoporosis Society, said: "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.

"While low quantities of alcohol may appear to have bone density benefits, higher intakes have been show to decrease bone strength, with an alcohol intake of more than two units per day actually increasing the risk of breaking a bone.

"There are also many other health concerns linked with alcohol which cannot be ignored."

Catherine Collins, a dietician at St George's Healthcare NHS Trust in London, said there was no recommended daily amount of silicon people should be consuming.

She said it was hard to prove deficiency in silicon because so little was needed.

"Sources of silicon do include beer – either alcohol-containing or alcohol-free – and it's also added as an anti-caking agent to powders such as baking powder.

"It is found in different amounts in water, so contributes to beer's total silica content.

"Silica may well contribute to bone health but in a minor way.

"It is not really significant compared with nutrients that we know are essential for bone health and are potentially deficient in the UK diet – such as calcium and vitamin D."

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