Because of the ubiquitous Cal Ripken Jr. ads from the 90s, we Baltimoreans know that milk builds strong bones. But a recent study in the journal Nutrition found that drinking beer may also promote bone density. Out of 1,700 women participating in the study, those that were considered moderate beer drinkers had the highest bone density. The women underwent ultrasound scans of their hands, because bones in the fingers are among the first to show signs of osteoporosis. The bones belonging to beer drinkers (those who drank 1-2 pints a day) were denser.
The scientists explained that there were a couple of possible explanations for this. Researchers said: "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 study also said that greater bone density could be a result of the plant hormone phytoestrogen, which is found in beer and keeps bones healthy.
However, the fine print basically advises us not to go crazy and that drinking in moderation is still key. But the bottom line is that an after-work beer (or two?) actually does a body good.