Beer and Cholesterol
2012 Health Benefits of Beer
Beer and Cholesterol Benefits
It is common knowledge that excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to serious health problems, but did you know that beer and cholesterol can be one amazing benefits of alcohol in moderation? Older studies all support the fact that alcohol has positive effects on cardiovascular health and nowhere is this more pronounced than in the effect of beer on blood cholesterol levels. Recent studies suggest that the positive benefit of alcohol extends beyond wines which is the most publized to include beers. As a result, beer and cholesterol are starting to capture the public’s eye when it comes to regulating consumption of alcohol so it contributes to positive health gains instead of negative ones.
The nutrition information of beer actually helps to explain how beer and cholesterol can be so intrinsically linked. One serving of regular beer contains 330 grams of water, 153 calories, 14 grams of alcohol, 1.6 grams of protein, 12.6 grams of carbohydrates, 14 mg of calcium, 21 mg of magnesium, 50 mg of phosphorus, 96 mg of potassium, 14 mg of sodium, 2 mg of niacin and 21 mcg of folate. Nowhere in that list do you see fat and cholesterol because the truth is that beer does not contain any of it. Outright, this list of the nutritional properties of beer is already turning conventional wisdom on its head because there is simply no fat or cholesterol to be found in beer.
Now you may be wondering if there is no cholesterol or fat in beer, how does it impact cholesterol levels in the blood? As it turns out, beer does not necessarily lower the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. Instead it increases the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) by providing more triglycerides. The increased amount of HDL keeps the LDL concentrations in check and therefore tips the ratio in favor of the HDL component.
With improved HDL levels, the body is better able to combat the risks of coronary heart disease. In a study conducted to assess the impact of beer on heart disease risks, the data showed that those who drink beer in moderate amounts on a regular basis are 30-40% less likely to have coronary heart disease than those who do not drink.
In another study, the LDL to HDL cholesterol ratio among drinkers drastically went down after a month of regular beer drinking, while red blood cell count of drinkers also increased indicating better oxygen transport between the lungs and internal organs. In that same study, the total cholesterol, weight, glucose levels and body mass index (BMI) measurements all remained comparable to the original values.
The trick in this equation is to differentiate between moderate and excessive consumption as some people might make it a null argument to say moderate beer consumption improves their health; hence, more of it must be better. In essence, the relationship between beer and cholesterol can generally be offset by excessive alcohol consumption which results to fatal diseases like cirrhosis of the liver.
To maximize the relationship between beer and cholesterol, one 300mL serving per day for women and two for men is recommended. This means popping one or two cans and then stopping. Only in these cases does medical science argue for the benefits of beer. So drink beer, but only drink in moderation. You know it’s good for you; but likewise, too much of a good thing can also be bad!