London: Ladies, here`s a good excuse to
guzzle the next glass of beer -- drinking it daily could stop
your bones from going brittle, say researchers.
A new study by a team in Spain has revealed that the
bones of women who drink beer regularly are stronger, making
them less likely to suffer from osteoporosis which is common
in females after menopause.
And, according to the researchers, the high level
of silicon in beer actually slows down the thinning that leads
to fractures and boosts the formation of new bone, the latest
issue of the `Nature` journal reported.
"Silicon plays a major role in bone formation. Beer
has been claimed to be one of the most important sources of
silicon in the Western diet," the researchers were quoted by
the British media as saying.
Beer is also rich in phytoestrogens, plant versions
of oestrogen, which keep bones healthy. Bones are made up of a
mesh of fibres, minerals, blood vessels and marrow and healthy
ones are denser with smaller spaces between different parts.
For the study, the researchers asked 1,700 healthy
women with an average age of 48 about their drinking habits.
They then underwent ultrasound scans of their hands, which
showed the bones belonging to beer drinkers to be denser.
The women`s hands were chosen because the bones in
the fingers are among the first to show signs of osteoporosis,
a disease of bone that leads to an increased risk of fracture.
Those who had less than a pint a day, whom the
researchers classed as light beer drinkers, fared just as well
as those in the moderate bracket, suggesting that even small
amounts can boost bone health.