Strong Bones: Beer?

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.



This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about maintaining strong bones. Exercise and adequate calcium intake are important for healthy bones. That may mean drinking plenty of milk. But what about having a beer?

While calcium is the mineral we think about most often when talking about strong bones, the silicon in beer can also help build stronger bones. But Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you’re better off with a balanced, nutritious diet. You’d have to drink about two liters of beer a day to get the amount of silicon needed to affect your bones. That’s twice what’s considered a moderate daily intake for men, four times the maximum recommended intake for women. Pale ales containing a lot of malted barley and hops have a higher silicon content. But the best way to keep your bones strong is to eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D and to exercise regularly.

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November 2011

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