Monday, February 8, 2010

Who knew?

So, how many beers did you down while watching the Super Bowl? Two, three… fourteen? Feeling a little guilty today are ya? Relax. You have no reason to hang your head (unless of course you have a hangover) because, we devotees of that malted, hoppy, liquid ambrosia are, in reality, drinking our way to better health.

Scoff not you naysayers. Recent studies show that beer contains a significant source of dietary silicon, a key ingredient for good bone health. Though past research has suggested beer is chockfull of silicon, little was known about how silicon levels varied with the type of beer and malting process used. So, a pair of researchers took one for the team and ran chemical analyses on beer's raw ingredients. They also picked up 100 commercial beers from the grocery store and measured the silicon content.

The average beer has about 15 mg/L of the bone healthy nutrient, and while there is no official recommendation for daily silicon intake, most people consume between 20-50 mg of silicon each day. With that in mind, downing two or three of the brown bottle’s nectar should do you just fine, in your fight to prevent poor bone health.

For me, I prefer the darker beers to the lighter pale ales, and such. However, the IPA’s seem to have more of the dietary silicon than the darker fare. Which, of course for me, means I will have to consume a little more on a daily basis (oh woe is me).

The type of silicon in beer, called orthosilicic acid, has a 50 percent bioavailability, meaning that much is available for use in the body. Some foods, like bananas are rich in silicon but only 5 percent is bioavailable. This soluble form of silica found in beer could be important for the growth and development of bone and connective tissue, according to the National Institutes of Health.

And, if you guys out there have used this ancient concoction, on occasion, to further your romantic endeavors, by encouraging your female partners to imbibe heavily, you now have even more ammunition to help convince your partner that this foamy liquid is akin to “the nectar of the Gods.”

Past research has suggested that beer consumption may help fight osteoporosis, a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue, commonly prevalent in women. A past study involving nearly 1,700 women reported last year showed participants who were light to moderate beer drinkers had much better bone density than non-drinkers.

So, drink up me hearties! You are not only improving your over all general health but, by encouraging others to do so also - especially the women folk - you are joining the ranks of crusaders in that never ending battle for strong bones and healthy teeth they told you about in school as a kid. Milk? I don’t think so. I don’t know about you, but I’m lactose intolerant. I'm all for a new ad campaign, myself. How about, “Got Beer?”

As my name sake was once quoted as saying, "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."


  1. I use to put away lots of suds and didn't much care what brand. There was one time in Mexico that I crossed swords with a brew that was, how do I say , less than tasty. I'm much older now, but still enjoy a dark beer during a great game, but these days the trips to the bathroom are coming less often. Such is life!

  2. Guinness would be my choice of brew, along with a premium cigar to compliment it.



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