Beer Might Actually Be Good for You, According to Science
Beer is one of the world's oldest alcoholic beverages. Thought to have first been developed thousands of years ago in the Levant, it is consumed by millions of people every day today.
But apart from its intoxicating properties, moderate drinking of beer can also benefit your health! If this sounds too good to be true, then read on.
RELATED: THE SCIENCE BEHIND BREWING BEER
Is beer good for your health?
Beer not only tastes great, but it could have some very important health benefits.
Reasons why drinking beer is healthy for you. pic.twitter.com/3MPL8dv8K0— The Health Videos (@TheHealthVid) January 22, 2020
in fact, moderate consumption of beer has been shown to seriously improve your health and wellbeing beyond its inebriating effects.
"Huge studies have found a 25 percent lower risk of heart disease in people who drink from one-half to two drinks daily, compared to abstainers. And alcoholic beverages that are rich in polyphenols — think beer! — maybe especially good for the heart, according to a 2012 research review." - everydayhealth.com.
How many beers a day is healthy?
Excessive alcohol consumption will dramatically affect your health and wellbeing over the long run. But the odd drink now and again appears to be very beneficial to you.
But how many beers a day would be considered "safe" or beneficial. Official guidance can vary, but the consensus appears to be about 1-2 pints a day, 3-4 times a week.
But this is an average. It will depend on your sex, weight, and general health.
"For example, The Daily Telegraph said, "drinking up to two 1.4 pints of beer a day for men and half of that for women" could benefit heart health. However, the researchers define a healthy limit as "up to" one drink a day for women and two for men. They say that one drink is approximately 330ml of 4% beer." - nhs.uk.
What happens if I drink beer every day?
The answer to this depends entirely on the volume of alcohol, and type, you consume every day. If you are binge drinking most days of the week, the chances are that your health will seriously suffer from the abuse.
On the other hand, drinking 1 or 2 beers a day, every other day could have some health benefits for you. Like anything in life, "everything in moderation" as the saying goes.
"Drinking one alcoholic beverage per day or drinking alcohol on at least 3 to 4 days per week is a good rule of thumb for people who drink alcohol. But don't drink more than two drinks per day. More than two drinks daily can increase the risk of over-all death as well as dying from heart disease." - webmd.com.
What are the health benefits of drinking beer?
So, without further ado, here are some of the health benefits of drinking beer according to science. Trust us when we say this list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
1. It's good for your bones (if you are a man)
One great health benefit of drinking beer is the fact that it can help build stronger bones. If drinking milk every day isn't your thing, it might be time to replace it with a daily beer?
According to a review published in the International Journal of Endocrinology, moderate beer consumption has been shown to increase bone density in men. The reason for this is that beer contains a fair amount of silicon.
Your body uses silicon to help build and maintain bones.
"Silicon improves bone matrix quality and facilitates bone mineralization. Increased intake of bioavailable silicon has been associated with increased bone mineral density. Silicon supplementation in animals and humans has been shown to increase bone mineral density and improve bone strength." - hindawi.com.
2. Beer can help you live longer
Yet another health benefit of drinking beer is the fact that it might actually help you live longer. Apart from the numerous anecdotal stories of a grandparent who swears by beer as the key to a long life, there might be some scientific support for it.
One particular study conducted by a psychologist at the University of Texas discovered that people who drink beer responsibly tended to live longer than those who didn't drink beer at all. But, the key here is moderate consumption, however.
Regularly drinking beer in excess will negatively affect your health over the longterm. While there are conflicting views on this, but various other studies do seem to show a tangible link between moderate beer drinking and longer lifespans.
This is probably a combination of the fact that beer reduces cholesterol levels, lowers the risk of diabetes (more on this later) and can also strengthen the heart (also more on this later).
3. Beer can actually clean your teeth
Believe it or not, there is some evidence that drinking beer can help clean your teeth. According to a study published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology beer can help keep the bacteria in your mouth under control.
Beer, the study found, helps prevent bacteria from forming and growing on your teeth. It should be noted that their beer of choice was Guinness, which is actually a stout; but we are splitting hairs.
The research team tested the effects of beer extracts on bacteria that promote tooth decay and gum disease. They found that even the weakest beer extract seriously hampered bacteria growth and proliferation by blocking communication pathways between them.
4. Beer can help stave off Alzheimers and dementia
Yet another health benefit of drinking beer is the fact that is has been shown to boost brainpower. The key component here is silicon again.
Silicon helps protect your brain from compounds that are believed to eventually cause a series of cognitive diseases. Researchers at the Loyola University in Chicago found that moderate beer drinkers showed a marked 23% reduction in the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
This was compared to non-drinkers.
5. It's good for your heart
Other than wine, beer appears to also have some health benefits for the "old ticker". One preliminary study at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2016 discovered that moderate beer drinkers showed higher levels of "good" cholesterol.
The study followed 80,000 participants over six years. It discovered that those who like the odd pint of beer showed the slowest decline in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.
In turn, this means a lower risk of some cardiovascular diseases.
Other research has also shown that men who drink beer in moderation after having a heart attack were 42% less likely to die from heart disease.
6. Beer is good for your kidneys
Another interesting benefit of drinking beer is that it can be good for your kidneys. Some studies have shown that moderate beer drinkers show a marked reduction in the build-up of kidney stones.
However, excessive alcohol consumption can have the opposite effect.
"Research has shown that beer, white wine, and red wine may all help reduce a person's risk for kidney stones when consumed at a moderate rate." - americanaddictioncenters.org.
7. It can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
And finally, yet another great health benefit of drinking beer is its apparent ability to stave off type 2 diabetes.
This comes from one study published in the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. They found that people who drink 3 to 4 times per week were less likely to develop diabetes than those who never drink.
What's more, when compared to those who didn't drink beer at all, men who enjoyed between one and six beers per week had a 21% lower risk of diabetes.