Beer could stop bones from going brittle, research has shown.
A study found that the bones of women who drink beer regularly are stronger, meaning they are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis. But wine does little to protect against the disease, the journal Nutrition reports.
It is thought that the high level of silicon in beer slows down the thinning that leads to fractures and boosts the formation of new bone. 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 the different parts.
The researchers asked almost 1,700 healthy women with an average age of 48 about their drinking habits. They then underwent ultrasound scans, which showed the bones in the hands of beer drinkers to be denser.