Milk isn't the only bone-building beverage: A beer may also help, say British doctors. It's a good source of silicon, a mineral that is thought to stimulate collagen production, a building block in bone formation. In a preliminary study, doctors looked at 2,847 people from the Framingham Osteoporosis Study and found that men and premenopausal women who consumed the most silicon- about 40 mg a day- had the highest bone mineral density, a measure of bone health.
Silicon is rarely listed on nutrition labels, so it's hard to tell how much we consume, says study author Jonathan Powell, a nutrition researcher at St. Thomas's Hospital in London. A 120z. beer has about 7 mg of silicon.
This news is no reason to start or increase drinking, because excess alcohol consumption raises other health risks, including osteoporosis itself. Your healthier options are to eat plenty of dates, mangos, melons, spinach, and apples. Some bottled mineral waters are also good sources of silicon. R.D.