Beer and Health
The words beer and health usually do not go together... Wine has always been the show stealer for its numerous health benefits, but it now appears that moderate consumption of beer may also have some positive benefits on health. Studies show that sensible beer drinking (i.e. no more than two bottles for men and one bottle for women per day) can be beneficial to the heart and lower the likelihood of some diseases.
Regularly consuming alcohol in small amounts lowers some of the risks that come with aging. Consuming a beer a day increases high-density lipoprotein (also known as HDL), which is a good form of cholesterol needed in the body. Drinking beer in moderation can also aid in protecting against type 2 diabetes. Scientists believe diabetes prevention via moderate alcohol consumption comes from higher insulin sensitivity.
The moderate intake of alcohol has been shown to line blood vessels, lowering the chance of a blood clot or plugged artery. The likelihood of a heart attack is 30-35% lower for men who consume modest amounts of alcohol. One to two beers a day may protect men from a heart disease related death, as found in a recent study showing 20% fewer deaths in a group of men who moderately drank each day versus a group of males that did not drink. Hypertensive males that drink occasionally are also at less risk of heart attack. This of course does not pertain to heavy drinking in which studies show that men who frequently have five or more drinks are 30% more likely to die from heart disease. So there is a significant negative correlation between beer and health when you move from moderate drinking to heavy drinking.
It appears that stroke prevention is another benefit to tack on to beer and health. Strokes occur when blood clots clog brain, neck or heart arteries and sensible drinking aides in clot reduction. For men of all ages and women under 50, the high silicon levels of beer can rebuild bones and lower bone loss (post-menopausal women show no benefit). Of course this is in the instance of casual drinkers as heavy drinkers show an increase in bone fractures.
It looks like beer also has a positive influence on brain function. A study found in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that Dementia is less likely among adults who drink between one and six drinks a week. A separate report found that women who participate in a drink or two daily have better mental cognition.
Beer drinking may also help you feel healthier and live a longer life. There is a lower death risk among middle-aged adults that participate in a drink or two each day. Liquor, beer and wine drinkers also seem to show less instance of illness than those who refrain. It looks like the old adage could be adjusted from an apple a day to a beer a day when it comes to staying out of the doctor’s office.
Some health authorities recommend that non-drinkers take up occasional drinking for the benefits, but it is still wise to take the information with a grain of salt. Beer may not be the best choice for everyone; women’s breast cancer risk could increase with the consumption of two or more alcoholic drinks each day.
As the new market for organic beers continues to grow, it seems fitting to deem them the healthiest option. Even though these beers have low to no sulfites or chemical preservatives it looks like the major health benefits depend more on vitamin, mineral and alcohol content of the beer.
Excessive beer drinking can lead to obesity so make sure you pay attention to the calorie content and the
carbs in beer.
when it comes to beer and health all beer brands are not created equal
the alcohol content from one type of beer to the next can vary dramatically
so read the labels just like you should with anything else you put in your body.
Bottom line: Beer is not medicine but in moderation can contribute to a healthy diet. So cheers to beer and health... Like you needed an excuse to have a beer anyway!