Antioxidants In Beer
2012 Health Benefits of Beer
Antioxidants In Beer
Antioxidants, which are quite commonly found in fruits and vegetables, are essential for disease prevention. This is because they are responsible for reducing the free radical effects in the body. Free radicals, which are a natural product of the body's oxidation process, are responsible for damaging cells and tissues and causing abnormal cell growth. The antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables is one of the reasons people are told to include them in their daily diet. However, if you are not terribly fond of the broccoli and kale, the good news is that there are antioxidants in beer.
Antioxidants in beer result from the fact that beer is made from cereals (for example barley) which are also an excellent source of antioxidants. The antioxidants in beer also result from the hops that are used in making the flavor in the beer. The hops contain a specific antioxidant called xanthohumol, which is said to be found only in the hops. Xanthohumol is what is called a prenylated flavonoid. These types of flavonoids are said to be a higher source of antioxidants than green tea and soy. These prenylated flavonoids are also beneficial as they are able to survive longer in the human body, therefore are available in the body longer to fight against the free radicals.
The hops, which also act as a preservative in the beer, also contain polyphenols, which fight cancer, lower cholesterol and kill viruses. Polyphenols are compounds commonly found in plants and have antioxidant properties.
Some research has shown that the antioxidants in beer may be just as good as the antioxidants in red wine, and may be better than the antioxidants in white wine. The level of the antioxidants found in the beer will depend on the type of beer. Darker beers have higher levels of antioxidants than lighter beers. Therefore stouts, browns and porters are better than lagers. An interesting fact is that beers that have higher antioxidants last longer (have a longer shelf life) as they are more resistant to oxidation which causes beer to go bad.
Antioxidants in beer have definite health benefits. Moderate consumption of beer has been shown to reduce the risk of certain diseases, particularly those that are age related such as high blood pressure, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and atherosclerosis. It is important to emphasize that the benefits to be derived from the antioxidants in beer can only be achieved if the consumption of beer is in moderation. Excessive consumption of beer will have detrimental effects on health. This is because high beer consumption increases the risk of what is called hormesis (when large doses of a substance that is beneficial at lower doses become harmful). Hormesis causes the blood to become pro-oxidant.
The antioxidants in beer are easily absorbed by the human body because beer is readily absorbed into the blood stream. Beer also has other benefits you would like to be aware of. If so, just browse through our collection of information.