Older women could protect themselves against osteoporosis in later life by drinking a pint of beer a day, according to new research.
A new study has shown that ale is an ideal source of dietary silicon, which is crucial in the formation of new bone.
Although silicon is contained in some plants and beans, one of the richest and most easily absorbed sources is beer.
In the new study, Professor Jonathan Powell, head of nutrition research at Cambridge University, studied the effects of beer on bone formation and found that ethanol - which is also present in alcohol - helps to prevent bone loss and silicon encourages the growth of new bone.
"Silicon combines with the hormone oestrogen to produce a beneficial effect and as women age, their oestrogen levels fall, and so, as they get older, it is important for women to take in a good daily amount of silicon," the Daily Mail quoted Prof Powell as saying.
"Our research shows that the absorption rate of silicon from beer is the highest of any foodstuff.
A pint of beer contains around 8mg of silicon - around a third of our daily recommended intake.
Pre-menopausal women would benefit from drinking a half-pint a day as a means of absorbing silicon, and post-menopausal women would benefit from a pint of beer a day," he added.
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