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Drink Me Dietary Silicon


Beers that contain high levels of malted barley and hops are beers that are richest in dietary silicon, an important ingredient for increasing the mineral density in human bones, which may help prevent osteoporosis, a disease of the skeletal system characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. During the beer-brewing process most of the silicon remains in the husk of the barley, but significant amounts of silicon are released into the wort -- that is, the liquid extracted from the mashing process -- and remain in the finished brew. In addition, hops also adds a small amount of dietary silicon to the beer. Among the various styles of beer, a rich source of dietary silicon is in IPAs (India Pale Ales), a highly-hopped beer style that contains higher silicon levels. This study, and other silicon-and-beer studies, suggests that moderate beer consumption may help fight osteoporosis in humans. Source: Troy R. Casey and Charles W. Bamforth, "Silicon in beer and brewing," Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Apr 2010.

Illustration commentary: "Silicon in my beer? If so, it's better than a squirt of cow or horse piss!" It is doubtful that this old cowboy, shown holding a glass of beer on an undated American brewery's trade card (probably in the 1930s or 1940s), knew or cared about the dietary benefits of silicon. This cowboy-and-beer image is nowadays an iconic illustration symbolic of the Wild Wild American West, cowboys and beer. The trade card was an advertising medium for Kentucky's Wiedemann brewery, operated from the late 19th century until 1983. Source: WBT's brewery files.

Earthy element factlet: Silicon is present in the earth's soil and is the most abundant nonmetallic element in its crust, while carbon is the most abundant nonmetallic element in plant and animal tissues. Source: Healthy (.net), 12 Jul 2014.

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A curious word of Greek origin describes the heart of the beer-brewing process.

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The Human Blood Vessels' Elixir of Life

The risk of cardiovascular disease in humans may be reduced (hopefully) by drinking beer in moderation.

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What Beer and Vagina Have in Common

 Evolution's bacteria protection for the female sex organ shares a numerical kinship with beer.

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The Scientific Vocabulary of Beer Foam

The foamy top of a beer has its own lexicon.

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India's Wild Elephants Adore Local Brew

 In northeastern India, beer-drinking elephants are uninvited and dangerous visitors to beer-brewing villages.

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Sir Walter's Tower of London Jailbird Ale

 A famous English adventurer preferred ale to water while imprisoned in the Tower of London.

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The Yankee Gyrocopter of Mexican Beer

A hard-drinking comedian starring in a pre-World War II Hollywood film drinks Mexican beer while piloting an odd flying machine.

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Beer Battles Beefsteak Carcinogens

 A team of scientists in Europe believe beer can aid in decreasing the risk of cancer in humans who eat steer and cow meat.

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What Ben Franklin Never Said About Beer

 An incorrect quotation about beer is attributed to an iconic 18th-century American depicted on a large denomination of United States' paper currency.

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If you enjoy drinking beer and reading beer trivia, you may wish to brew specialty beers. We recommend Midwest Supply in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A. for beer-brewing and wine-making kits, ingredients and equipment. Live outside the U.S.? Bongo International will arrange international shipments. is the place to go for hard-to-find books about beer.


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