Beer is Good for You - in Moderation

May 16, 2019

The news that every beer drinker wants to hear and now you can get beers specially designed to give your health a super boost

 

Most of us have heard from a raft of sources that we drink too much, don’t fully understand units in general and get the vibe that alcohol is not good for us. There has been conflicting information about whether or not a glass of red wine is good for your heart, leading many to take this as a green light for a bucket size glass a day and for others to even fear drinking. It may come as a surprise then to hear that there are some health benefits to be had from drinking beer. We thought it would be wise to do our homework so as not to add to the existing confusion and we are definitely not saying that the benefits we highlight are by any means suggesting that beer should be consumed excessively. This article should not be taken as medical advice. If you are in any doubt about your health, Bottles & Cans advise that you speak to a doctor as soon as possible.

1. Obviously, beer contains calories and if you drinks pints every day you are going to put on weight, but drunk in moderation it might actually help because it contains Xanthohumol, which is a chemical flavonoid that has been found to help in reducing weight and lowering cholesterol levels. This flavonoid was found in beer, in a study conducted by Oregon State University.

2. Kidney stones can be a painful condition; anyone who has ever passed one has a tale that will bring tears to your eyes. A study conducted by the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, published in 2013 looked at 200,000 patients and concluded that sugary drinks increase your risk of kidney stones, but drinking beer can decrease your chances by up to 60%. Pietro Manuel Ferraro, MD, of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, said: “Our study suggests that beer consumption is associated with reduced risk of forming stones in three large U.S. cohorts.” 

3. It has been noted the sense of happiness that comes with drinking a beer is associated with the release of dopamine; the body’s happy drug that makes you feel calm and relaxed.

4. Keeping your bowels happy is just as important as having a happy brain. Increasing your intake of fibre every day can lead to more regular bowel movements and you will be delighted to discover that you can get 20% of your daily fibre requirements from a pint of beer.

5. We now have happy brains, kidneys and bowels, lets move onto bones. Bone density decreases as we age, which can lead to more broken bones. Drinking beer can help to increase your bone density because it is rich in dietary silicone. The type of silicone found in beer, orthosilicic acid, was found by a 2013 report in the International Journal of Endocrinology, to be more easily metabolised by the body. The best sources of orthosilicic acid, according to a 2010 report from the University of California were found in beers that contain malted barleys and hops.

6. A study conducted by the University of Western Ontario claimed to have found that drinking a beer a day helped to reduce the rick of developing a cataract, by helping to prevent damage to the mitochondria.

7. It is said that drinking beer thins the blood, which can in turn decrease the risk of a blood clot forming. This might help prevent a coronary artery blockage. Talking of hearts, drinks that are rich in polyphenols, like red wine and beer, can help to reduce the risk of heart disease - please remember, we are talking about 1-2 drinks per day.

8. Here’s a positive for anyone with skin that has still not realised you have moved beyond adolescence. Beer contains vitamins that apparently prevent and correct acne, whilst giving you a glow. Definitely not the red nose kind of glow that comes from a lifetime of heavy drinking.

9. As we are talking beauty, beer can help you keep your teeth healthy. The gunk that forms on your teeth is known as biofilm. A group of researchers from the UK have been exploring the effects of plant derived extracts on biofilm; looking for new and improved ways for us to keep our teeth pearly white and protect against gum disease. A study was published in 2012 in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology and its findings were that even the weakest beer tested was effective at blocking bacterial activity and for dealing with biofilm, beer beat all other extracts they tested , including black tea.

10.  So, you are spot free, teeth are clean, bones are sturdy, bowels are regular and your body is working like a dream, but what about the little grey cells? The science in this field is still only in the lab, but early signs are that a xanthohumol, a substance found in beer, along with other ingredients of beer have promoted the growth and development of neurons. We mentioned silicone earlier with reference to bone strength, but silcone can also help to protect your brain from the compounds believed by scientists to cause Alzheimer’s. The researchers at Loyola University in Chicago discovered that moderate beer drinkers are 23 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia than those who don’t drink beer. There is an alternative suggestion to explain this discovery;  beer has been shown to raise good cholesterol levels, which in turn improve the blood flow to the brain. This is one to watch, but ever tried to complete a sudoku after a few too many pints? No growth of neurons going on there.

So, we have established that there are potentially some health benefits from drinking beer in moderation, but some companies have taken this and gone to a whole new level; creating wellness beers.

1. Suntory, a Japanese brewing company launched a light beer in 2015 called Precious. Its magic ingredient was two grams of collagen in every can. The company’s claim was that this naturally ocuring protein would make you look younger. Now that is a big claim to be making and science says that if you are drinking collagen, your amazing and under rated digestive system will have processed the protein before it has a chance to get anywhere near your skin.

2. Recovery beers are the latest wellness beers to hit the shelves. They are brewed with sea salts, electrolytes, and other ingredients designed to help you refuel and made their debut with the hard core athletic scene. One of the top wellness breweries is Sufferfest Beer Company, and they were on a mission to design a beer that would not only be a knock out beer, but would be the ultimate drink for an athlete at the end of an elite event. Sufferfest now produce five kinds of wellness beer; all gluten free. Their latest brew is FKT (Fastest Known Time) and it contains the equivalent amounts of electrolyte-replenishing salts as the typical sports drink. In Boston, Zelus Beer Company also offer a range of recovery beers, with names like Race Pace and Long Run. Whilst some craft breweries see wellness/recovery beers as the next big thing for them, the sports nutritionalists have yet to be signed up to this as a good idea. 

There are some interesting pieces of research being done all over the world; many are contradictory and many require some serious scientific brains to be able to understand the findings. It would seem that many are still treating their findings with caution and thus we are left with some cold hard facts from the NHS.

1. Low to moderate drinking may have health benefits, but binge drinking or heavy drinking is very bad for your health. 

2. Stick to the recent official UK guidance that both men and women should drink no than 14 units a week. And finally, one piece of carefully thought out advice from B&C, one that is ingrained in our philosophy; whatever you choose to drink as your moderate intake, may it be, tasty and thoroughly enjoyable or don’t bother drinking it at all.

 

Bottles and Cans 

 

Sources

Daly, A. (2019)  ‘Wellness Beers” Are a Thing Now—Here’s What You Need to Know’, Bonappetit.com,  https://www.bonappetit.com/story/wellness-beers - accessed 03-04-2019

Harding, A. (2018) ‘8 Ways Beer Is Good for You’, everydayhealth.com, https://www.everydayhealth.com/pictures/ways-beer-good-you/ - accessed 01-04-2019

NHS {analysis by Bazian} (2016) Is a pint of beer a day good for the heart? https://www.nhs.uk/news/heart-and-lungs/is-a-pint-of-beer-a-day-good-for-the-heart/ - accessed 01-04-2019 

Patwary, S. (2019) ‘8 Health Benefits Of Drinking Beer You Probably Didn’t Know,’ missmalini.com,  https://www.missmalini.com/2019/03/12/8-health-benefits-of-drinking-beer-you-probably-didnt-know/ - accessed 27-03-2019

Steinhibe, B, (2018) ‘7 science-backed reasons beer may be good for you’, NBCnews.com, https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/7-science-backed-ways-beer-good-your-health-ncna788986How Beer Can Benefit Your Health - accessed 02-04-2019

 

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