Drinking beer made from hops or pale barley malts could be good for your bones, according to a recently released study from the University of California at Davis.
Beer made from hops and pale barley malts contain relatively higher amounts of silicon than other types of beer. Silicon is believed to support bone development and fight off osteoporosis, published reports say.
The Californian study found beer contains silicon in the soluble form of orthosilicic acid (OSA), which yields 50 per cent bioavailability. That makes it a major contributor to silicon intake in the western diet.
Some beers full of hops were found to contain as much as four times more silicon than is found in malt. However, hops are used in smaller quantities than grain in the brewing process.
But malt may be ultimately more important overall because hops are used in much smaller quantities than grain in the brewing process. In that case, the bone-building beer of choice is suds made from pale barley malts.
Pale-coloured barley malts were found to contain higher levels of silicon than darker varieties because they suffered less heat stress. The researchers also found that barley is a better source of malt than wheat.