Silicon and Bone Health: Part 2 : Beer

Beer - an unusual but proven source of silicon for bone health.

A number of recent headlines declare – Beer is Good for Bones!  The story is interesting because it is wine that typical grabs attention; and because it confirms the importance of natural silicon for bone health.  Because of its silicon content, beer (in moderation) is beneficial for bones and is one component of a bone-healthy diet - that also includes supplements.

Beer is one of the few dietary sources of natural silicon - an element that as previously discussed in Part 1 of Silicon and Bone Health - undoubtedly plays a role in bone formation, bone strength, decreasing the risk of fracture, and possibly helping to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.  Silicon is released from barley and hops during the fermentation process. Beers range in silicon content from as little as 6 mg to as much as 56 mg per liter – so the variety of beer makes a big difference.  The brewing style also make a difference in a beer’s silicon content: malty, hoppy, barley-based brews that aren't too dark appear to have the most silicon. Even non-alcoholic beer contains some organic silicon. The daily amount of organic silicon that is associated with improved bone density is approximately 40 mg, but the average dietary intake for women over fifty is about 20 mg a day.

It should be common sense though that beer alone is not the answer to consuming the amount needed for improved bone density. One beer for women and two for men is a good rule of thumb. Excessive alcohol is bad for bone health - not to mention increasing the risk of falling and breaking a bone. Whole grains, brown rice and bananas are some of the foods that contain dietary silicon, but not in significant amounts, and sometimes in a form that is not easily digestible.  Because it is difficult to get enough silicon from typical food consumption, a daily supplement is needed to make up for dietary deficiencies. This is one of the major reasons why Silical® System* was developed – it provides an organic form of silicon in enough quantity to meet the level associated with increased bone density. The other ingredients in Silical System (vitamin K, boron,  vitamin C and others) are uniquely formulated to improve the effects of calcium and vitamin D, which are also essential for bone health

Watch The TODAY Show, featuring Heidi Skolnik of the National Osteoporosis Foundation, revealthe surprising foods that may prevent osteoporosis - including beer and its breakthrough bone health ingredient, silicon.

*Adequate calcium and vitamin D, throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

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