Good news for beer enthusiasts out there: a new study has shown that drinking certain strong beers in moderation may help maintain a healthy community of gut microbes.
Belgian beers such as Hoegaarden and Westmalle Tripel are rich in probiotic microbes and could offer a range of health benefits.
Strong beers for a strong gut
The reason why certain beers, especially strong Belgian ones, are good for your health is because they are fermented twice in order to break down more of the sugars. A specific yeast is used in the second batch of fermentation that produces acids.
These acids are poisonous to many of the bacteria that make us fall ill.
"You are getting a stronger beer that is very, very healthy," said Claassen.
However, this research doesn't give a free pass to start guzzling strong beers. Claassen stressed the importance of drinking in moderation, and in fact of limiting the beer-guzzling to just one a day.
Claassen stated that "In high concentrations, alcohol is bad for the gut but if you drink just one of these beers every day it would be very good for you."
Probiotics are well known for being healthy for our gut.
There already exist foods and drinks such as kimchi, yogurt, and kefir that are extremely healthy for our guts. However, for lactose-intolerant people, or those who simply don't enjoy fermented foods or drinks, this beer option could be a welcome addition to the healthy-gut drinks list.
Probiotics are believed to restore the natural balance of bacteria in the gut, especially after taking a course of antibiotics, which typically irritate the stomach and intestines.
It has to be noted, though, that exact evidence of the benefits of probiotics is still limited.