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A Little Beer Is A Beautiful Thing When It Comes To Osteoporosis

A little beer can actually be good for your bones. And some varieties of your favorite brew can be better than others.

Beer contains dietary silicon in the soluble form of orthosilicic acid, which the National Institute of Health reports is important for the growth and development of bone and connective tissue.

The NIH report says "... beer may prevent carcinogenesis and osteoporosis."

Some varieties have much more silicon than others. After testing one hundred commercial beers, here is what researchers discovered:

  • India Pale Ale beers tend to have more silicon because they are stronger and "hoppier."
  • Wheat-based beers contain less silicon because there is less silicon in wheat malt and lower amounts of hops are used to produce them.
  • Light lager-style beers are lower in silicon, possibly because corn is used in the brewing process.

So a cold-one can be a beautiful thing. But remember that alcohol is acid forming which is not good for our bones.

Daily consumption of more than two standard servings of alcohol can actually increase bone loss and fracture risk. But an India Pale Ale on a hot day... can be a lovely thing.

An alkaline diet full of fruits and vegetables and low in coffee and soda is best four our bones. You can learn more about building a diet rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin K by visiting osteoporosis diet.

But one of the most important things you can do to protect your bone health (in addition to exercising) is to maintain optimal vitamin D blood levels.

Research shows that the majority of people living north of Boston, Rome and Beijing are vitamin D deficient during the long winter months and this deficiency can significantly impair calcium absorption.


Casey et al. Silicon in beer and brewing. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, February 2010; DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.3884, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture press release, accessed 12.14.11. See the press release.