February 08, 2010
Beer Silicon Against Osteoporosis

I know how dutiful you all are about your health and I'm sure many of you will do the responsible thing and drink beer for your bones.

A new study suggests that beer is a significant source of dietary silicon, a key ingredient for increasing bone mineral density. Researchers from the Department of Food Science & Technology at the University of California, Davis studied commercial beer production to determine the relationship between beer production methods and the resulting silicon content, concluding that beer is a rich source of dietary silicon. Details of this study are available in the February issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Society of Chemical Industry.

"The factors in brewing that influence silicon levels in beer have not been extensively studied" said Charles Bamforth, lead author of the study. "We have examined a wide range of beer styles for their silicon content and have also studied the impact of raw materials and the brewing process on the quantities of silicon that enter wort and beer."

Silicon is present in beer in the soluble form of orthosilicic acid (OSA), which yields 50% bioavailability, making beer a major contributor to silicon intake in the Western diet. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), dietary silicon (Si), as soluble OSA, may be important for the growth and development of bone and connective tissue, and beer appears to be a major contributor to Si intake. Based on these findings, some studies suggest moderate beer consumption may help fight osteoporosis, a disease of the skeletal system characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue.

They tested 100 commercial beers. Anyone have access to this journal and wants to tell us which beers are best?

The lighter beers are better.

The researchers examined a variety of raw material samples and found little change in the silicon content of barley during the malting process. The majority of the silicon in barley is in the husk, which is not affected greatly during malting. The malts with the higher silicon contents are pale colored which have less heat stress during the malting process. The darker products, such as the chocolate, roasted barley and black malt, all have substantial roasting and much lower silicon contents than the other malts for reasons that are not yet known.

Partly for the sake of my bones I also take vitamin D, calcium and biweekly high potency vitamin K (as K2 fwiw).

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 February 08 11:53 AM  Aging Diet Bone Studies

Christi Johnson said at February 8, 2010 12:43 PM:

"sorry officer, I was just strengthening my bones!"

kurt9 said at February 8, 2010 1:06 PM:

What about Guinness?

Engineer-Poet said at February 8, 2010 8:04 PM:

I prefer to nosh on chips instead of drinking beer for my silicon.  Now where did I put that bag of Zilogs?

Dave Zuc said at August 31, 2010 6:36 AM:

Hi, this topic made me curious, and here is what I have found on the Internet (the source is http://www.pdfok.com/dietary-silicon ):The average daily intake of silica from the diet is approximately 20 to 50 milligrams per day, but the optimum dose is higher. Researchers are finding that by supplementing the diet with a minimum of 40 milligrams of silica a day, the skin shows an improvement of elasticity, texture and thickness. Added benefits include helping weakened teeth and gums, strengthening bones, and decreasing hair loss. Overall, silica was found to help the body repair, rebuild, strengthen, and lessen or eliminate many body ailments associated with aging.

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