Beer: It’s Better than Milk!

March 22, 2009

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got your Google account wired to directly beam any mention of beer or wine in any publication in the world directly to your inbox. Then, of course, you’ll spend the first two or three hours of every day sifting through these listings,  skimming through laffable crud like Malcom Gluck of the UK’s Guardian, paying attention to guys like Lew Bryson, and hanging on every word coming from Robert Parker — okay, maybe not every word. And if you’re like me, you’ll down maybe a pot or two of coffee in the process (or, on those special mornings, a glass of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout) and brace yourself for the rest of the day. Yes, if you’re anything like me, mornings aren’t all that bad.

This particular morning, I happened upon this article. Basically it says that drinking beer or wine in moderation (not hard alcohol — apparently that’s a thing of the devil) significantly improves bone density. And Google didn’t even have to look hard for this study; turns out this finding was part of the Framingham Offspring study.

How’s this for un-demonizing alcohol: “…the effect of alcohol on bone mineral density (BMD) that [Dr. Katherine Tucker] and her colleagues saw was ‘larger than what we see for any single nutrient, even for calcium. It’s not ambiguous. It’s very clear.'”

Beer better than calcium? How could this be? “Beer is an excellent source of silicon, a mineral needed for bone health that has become increasingly rare in the modern diet, the researcher noted.” Which means that beer is better than mother’s breast milk. Unless your mom’s implants are leaking, in which case you’ve got a whole new set of problems… not the least of which is the fact that you’re still breast feeding.

Here’s something else that’s interesting: “…there were too few women who drank beer to draw conclusions about how the mineral affected female bone density.” Come on, ladies, you’re letting us down. Man up and drink a beer. For science. For science!!

Dr. Tucker emphasizes the fact that it’s important to take a variety of factors into consideration when deciding how to manage your health. For example, alcohol could be linked to increased estrogen production in the body, which is a factor in increasing the risk of breast cancer in women. So before you change your drinking habits (for science!!) consider all of the risk factors involved.

Now I don’t feel so bad for having that beer for breakfast. And for the record, I haven’t broken a bone since high school.

…just sayin’…


11 Responses to “Beer: It’s Better than Milk!”

  1. Palm Tree said

    It seems like this research is to narrow in scope. There are a lot of other areas of the body that are affected by Alchohol such as the liver and kidneys. The affects to these and other areas are not so beneficial as it appears to be to the bones.

  2. lenny25 said

    I’m all for the idea of drinking beer over milk…frankly I like the taste better. However, I’m cautious of whether the benefits truly outweigh the negatives. Also I would encourage you to be a little less generalizing. There are many a women out there who would rather grab a beer than a cocktail, and I don’t consider them manly for doing so.

  3. Spirit said

    Great point Lenny.

  4. thebeerphilosopher said

    To Palm and Lenny, yes, there are lots of other considerations to take into account before you change your diet. Those can be found in the linked article. Thought I’d take a lighthearted look at this one. And for the record, my girlfriend drinks 11% ABV imperial stouts that I couldn’t finish. Maybe I need to girl up.

  5. guswinn said

    If you were joking when you said that beer is better than moms breast milk, then that’s pretty funny. But seriously speaking, it is not true.

    Breast milk plays a role in protecting the baby from diseases, in addition to containing bone-building components.

    Here’s your link:

    • thebeerphilosopher said

      No, I was being totally serious when I said that it was as good to drink beer as it was to breastfeed from a woman whose implants are leaking. So totally serious.

      C’mon guys. Lighten up a bit.

  6. Spirit said

    would help to know how long ago high school was for you

    • thebeerphilosopher said

      Why does that matter?

      • Spirit said

        because as part of your argument you raised the point that you have not broken a bone since high school. if you graduated from hs last year the argument isnt very powerful.

      • lenny25 said

        haha I’m like 99.98% sure this person DID NOT graduate from high school last year. Take my word on it my friend…

  7. thebeerphilosopher said

    Saying I’m old, Lenny? They say I have a babyface. But my liver says I’m 83.

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