Beer can be good for the bones, researchers have discovered. In fact, some types of beer are so rich in dietary silicon that their regular intake can cut the chance of developing diseases like osteoporosis.
So, while supping pints of your average lager like Wife Beater or Kronenberg will simply get you sozzled, downing ales containing higher levels of malted barley and hops can get you sozzled and boost your bones allowing you to survive that inevitable stumble into the gutter on the way home.
According to the study by researchers at University of California, beer is a good source of dietary silicon and around half the silicon in beer can be easily absorbed by the body.
The researchers quaffed up to 100 different beers and studied production methods, publishing their findings in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.
A spokesperson from the the National Osteoporosis Society, confirmed that previous studies found that some alcohol consumption could be beneficial to bones.
Charles Bamforth, lead author of the University of California, said, "Beers containing high levels of malted barley and hops are richest in silicon.
"While most of the silicon remains in the husk during brewing, significant quantities of silicon nonetheless are extracted into wort and much of this survives into beer," he added.
The National Osteoporosis Society recommends those of us with bones do not increase their beer intake on the back of these findings. Switching from lager to real ale could help though, we humbly suggest.
A separate study published today gives boozers more pause for thought. Research from the US Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention organisation suggests that drinking two or more soft drinks per week doubles the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.