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Hops Stops Osteoporosis

Study: Beers High in Hops Strengthen Bones

University of California researchers are hopeful that hops will build better bones.

Another year, another Super Bowl.  And with the Super Bowl comes a slew of commercials, as businesses cash in on what is the most watched sporting event of the year (average price for a 30 second ad:  $2.3 million).

This year’s Super Bowl brought the typical assortment of advertisers—candy companies, snack foods, web site domains, and soda pop peddlers.  And let us not forget the beer companies, which were out en masse.  Some were so bold as to pass their product off as a health drink (i.e. Michelob Light, which had seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong promoting their product).

But as foolish as the notion that beer being good for you sounds, there’s actually some truth to it.

It’s all about the hops!

According to a new study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, beers with high levels of malt barley and hops are a great way to improve bone health.  Bone health is something that everyone needs to be concerned about, but especially those who are advanced in year, as they are more prone to osteoporosis (women, especially).

Beer is beneficial to bone health thanks to hops being rich in dietary silicon.

All of us have varying amounts of silicon inside our bodies, mainly found on the connective tissues of our bones, tendons, arteries and lungs.  We get silicon from the foods we eat, primarily unrefined grains and cereal grains.  And as researchers from the University of California found, another rich source is beer.

Researchers from the University of California’s Department of Food Science and Technology did not specify which beer specifically contains the most hops (they tested 100 commercial beers for hops content), but they did say that pale-colored beers have more hops than dark-colored varieties.  The discrepancy in hops boils down to how much heat is used in the brewing process (e.g. the higher the heat, the darker the beer).

So there you have it, beer is beneficial to your body when consumed in moderation.  And I emphasize moderation.  We already know about the benefits moderate alcohol consumption has for heart health, but moderation applies to bone health as well.  Besides, the recommended amount of silicon in your diet is between two and five milligrams per day.  The silicon content in the beers tested varied considerably, with some being as high as 56 milligrams per liter, others as low as 6.4 milligrams per liter.

Sources:
foodnavigator.com
drlera.com

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