Each year more and more studies are being done on the health benefits of beer. While red wine drinkers have been bragging for some time about the benefits of their choice of alcohol, it now seems that beer drinkers will finally get their turn in the spotlight. It is now proven that moderate alcohol consumption is good for heart health, no matter whether you drink beer or wine.
The good news is that moderately consuming alcohol is beneficial for your heart. Moderate drinkers lessen their risk of heart attacks and heart disease, compared to people who don’t drink at all or those who are heavy drinkers. For equal amounts of alcohol, beer has double the antioxidants of white wine, and the antioxidants may be able to be absorbed by the body quicker than those of red wine. Beer contains neither fat nor cholesterol.
Moderate consumption of alcohol is defined as two drinks a day for men and one drink each day for women. Moderate drinkers lowered their risk of heart disease by from between thirty and sixty percent even those who were considered high risk because of a previous heart attack, heart disease, or diabetes. In other studies, beer helped people build bone mass. This is thought to be because of beer’s silicon content.
Beer contains large amounts of antioxidants which prevent cell damage that leads to certain cancers and heart disease. The antioxidants come from the hops and malt used in beer brewing. Other antioxidants, known as polyphenols, which are also found in vegetables, fruits, black and green teas, and wine, are present in beer as well.
In another study that lasted for twelve years, both light and moderate use of beer lowered the risk of diabetes by thirty-six percent. Consuming beer at moderate levels is connected to a reduction in insulin resistance.
In addition, moderate beer consumption is connected to an improvement in memory and thinking abilities. It is hoped that this improvement can help protect people from ischemic stroke, which is responsible for eighty-percent of all stoke cases. It is also possible that the same levels of moderate drinking can help protect us from Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia.
One study conducted at the University of Wisconsin found that these benefits associated with moderate beer consumption, were more present in dark beers than light beers. Guinness stout, for example, has very high levels of flavonoids. These flavonoids were also present in a number of fruits and vegetables but not as much in lighter beers. Guinness stout lowered bad cholesterol levels, and was twice as effective as Heineken, a lighter beer in lowering substances connected to clogged arteries.
While many people have believed for years that beer was as effective as wine in its many health benefits, now these theories are being proven by scientific fact. But while these benefits are tied to moderate consumption of alcohol, they are not tied to over consumption. That means that drinking twice as much is not twice as good for you.
- New report labels the beer belly ‘a myth’ (thedrinksbusiness.com)