Beer, Wine and Your Bones
If you like the taste of a good brew, then here is some good news! In a recent research study of over 2,900 women and men, researchers found that beer, which contains silicon, may promote bone health. Silicon is a mineral that is thought to stimulate collagen production, which is a building block in bone formation. Wine is rich is phytochemicals, which may also benefit bones. Research does not show, however, in the battle of the sexes, that beer or wine has better or less results in either men or women. In a recent WebMD interview, Katherine Tucker, PhD says that it is possible that two glasses of wine could benefit men, while women may get a bone boost from two cans of beer. Another study of 2,847 people from the Framingham Osteoporosis Study found that men and pre-menopausal women who drank the most silicon, about 40 mg a day, had the highest bone mineral density, a measurement of bone health. Silicon is rarely listed on food labels, so it is hard to tell exactly how much you are consuming. But, you can estimate that one 12-ounce beer has approximately 7 mg of silicon.
It is important is that you drink any alcoholic beverage in moderation because while two cans of beer or two 6 ounce glasses of wine may be good for promoting bone growth, drinking more is harmful. The not-so-good news is that if you drink distilled beverages such as vodka or Scotch, daily consumption of these beverages has shown to actually promote osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone-wasting disease that makes your bones brittle and more prone to breaks. The disease increases with age and is more common in women than men, especially postmenopausal women.
Drinking red wine has also shown to be linked to heart health. So, what we are seeing now is a diet that is good for the heart and another that is good for the bones. Because good nutrition is good for the heart, you can consider it good for the bones as well. Other studies have shown that good nutrition also plays a significant role in brain health.
So, how much beer or wine is good for your bones? Current recommendations are for two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. So, don't jump and run to a keg party quite yet, remember that moderation is best.
Now, if you are not a beer or wine drinker, don't start now just to promote bone growth. There are other ways to get silicon, and let us not forget that alcohol consumption raises other health risks such as osteoporosis itself. So, if you are interested in a healthier way to introduce silicon into your diet, you will want to eat dates, mangoes, melons, spinach, apples and even some bottled mineral waters will be good sources.
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Michele Webb owns her own website and is a member of a number of organizations for women Netpreneurs and business owners. She has over 20 years experience in health care, clinical trials, management, project management and software development. She currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada USA with her two dogs.
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