Beer is a significant source of silicon, which is a key ingredient of the diet that helps to improve bone mineral density.
The best beers for silicon are the pale malted ales and lagers. Dark bitters and stouts contain lower levels because they are made with roasted barley, which has lower silicon content. Wheat contains less silicon than barley, so wheat beers are poorer sources of silicon.
Previous studies have suggested that a regular pint or two may help to prevent the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis.
In the new study, researchers at the University of California studied 100 commercial beers and found their silicon content ranged from 6.4 milligrams per litre to 56.5 mg/l. Paler beers have more silicon than darker ones because less heat is used in the malting process.