Beer For Good Health
by Perry Tragg
Charlie Bamforth, a professor of brewing sciences at the University of California, Davis says that beer is better
than wine when it comes to B vitamins, phosphorus, folate and niacin. Beer also has significant protein and some
fiber. And it is one of a few significant dietary sources of silicon, which research shows can help prevent
osteoporosis. Preliminary research also suggests that beer may contain prebiotics that feed the good bacteria in
Other research has shown the health benefits of moderate beer consumption. You may be surprised to learn that
beer may do the following:
1. Lower your risk of diabetes
A new study published in the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes found that people who
drink 3 to 4 times per week were less likely to develop diabetes than those who never drink. And when compared
to those who didn't drink beer, men who enjoyed between one and six beers per week had a 21 percent lower risk
2. Make your heart healthier
Wine tends to be the choice on the bar menu associated with a healthy heart. But there’s reason to love beer for
the same reason. A preliminary study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2016
followed 80,000 participants for six years and found that moderate drinkers had the slowest decline in high-
density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol, levels — and in turn, a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Research also shows that of men who have already suffered a heart attack, those that drank beer moderately
were 42 percent less likely to die of heart disease.
A report from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study also confirmed that moderate drinkers were 30 to 35
percent less likely to have had a heart attack than non-drinkers. The study also found that men who drank every
day had a lower risk of heart attack than those who drank once or twice a week.
It may build stronger bones
3.. Make your bones stronger.
A review published in the International Journal of Endocrinology found that moderate beer consumption leads to
increased bone density in men. No, it’s not the buzz that’s helping those bones grow: it’s the silicon found in your
pint, which is an essential mineral for bone formation.
4. Boost brain power
Another benefit of having silicon on the ingredients list? It helps protect your brain from compounds thought to
eventually cause cognitive diseases. Which may be why researchers at Loyola University in Chicago found that
moderate beer drinkers are 23 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia than those who don’t drink
beer. Another explanation: Beer is shown to raise good cholesterol which improves blood flow to the brain.
And ordering a few pints may give you a boost at trivia night. According to one study, people with a slight beer
buzz solved puzzles faster than their sober counterparts. In fact, alcohol made subjects almost 30 percent more
likely to find the unexpected solution.
5. Cleans your teeth
A study published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology found that beer can keep bacteria from
forming — and growing — on your teeth. The researchers tested the effects of beer extracts on the bacteria that
form biofilm and promote tooth decay and gum disease, and found that even the weakest extract of beer tested
blocked the activity of bacteria. Beer was also one of the best extracts for blocking communication between
bacteria, which slows their growth. Good old Guinness was the beer they used in testing.
6. Reduce inflammation
Next time your friend asks why you’re still at the bar, tell them you’re fighting inflammation.
Inflammation in the body is the underlying cause behind many diseases, and according to a study published in
Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, hops (an essential ingredient in beer) has anti-inflammatory properties. The
researchers compared the anti-inflammatory effect of different hops and found that the consumption of hops in
beer form interfered with inflammation causing compounds.
7. Live longer
A study conducted by a psychologist at the University of Texas found that people who drink heavily live longer
than those who don’t. But don't use it as a license to binge drink this weekend because heavy alcohol use can
negatively impact your health. The jury is still out, but studies suggest that a healthy amount of beer can add
years to your life, given that it positively impacts cholesterol levels, lowers your risk of diabetes and strengthens
Also, drinking beer tends to be a group activity, which may play a role in its health benefits as well, since science
shows having an active social life is linked to a longer lifespan.
Maybe it's time to change that old saying to a beer a day keeps the doctor.... but apples are still good too.
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