John Prine famously sang in his 1973 song, Please Don’t Bury Me,
Give my stomach to Milwaukee
If they run out of beer
That could also apply to me. But at least my bones should last forever even if the rest of me doesn’t.
The UK Independent reports that a regular pint helps strengthen the bones and prevent fractures in old age (so long as you don’t drink too much of it and fall over).
Beer is a significant source of silicon, which is a key ingredient of the diet that helps to improve bone mineral density. The National Institute of Health in the United States says silicon may be important for the growth and development of bones, and beer "appears to be a major contributor" to the amount of silicon in the diet.
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.
And wheat beer tasts like crap.
Catherine Collins, a dietician at St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, said: "Beer drinking is not really relevant in terms of bone health. Silica may well contribute to bone health but in a minor way: it is not significant compared with nutrients that we know are essential for bone health and are potentially deficient in the UK diet – such as calcium and vitamin D."
That’s no fun. I’d rather go with David Allan Coe’s, Beer is Good For You.