Beer and Health
2012 Health Benefits of Beer
Beer and Health
Using conventional wisdom, beer and health are two words you normally do not expect to see together in one sentence. We have come to believe that beer is an unhealthy drink and that if one is to be healthy, the only logical conclusion is to stay away from beer. But alas, the latest in nutrition studies have arrived at conclusions that are guaranteed to turn conventional wisdom on its head.
Assuming that beer drinkers consume their favorite frothy beverage in moderation, there are actually plenty of health benefits in beer that are more than guaranteed to lend credence to the beer and health relationship. In the next sections, we will look at some of these health benefits in order to explain, in greater detail, how moderate consumption of beer can be actually good for you.
Heart health. Moderate levels of alcohol are actually effective at increasing the HDL levels in the blood. HDL is also known as the good cholesterol and there is an established inverse correlation between HDL and LDL. Higher HDL usually means lower LDL in the blood helping to fight illnesses that depend on LDL levels to thrive. A key example is heart failure which has been closely linked to elevated LDL levels in the bloodstream. As such, increasing your HDL via beer in turn lowers LDL and lowers your risk factors for heart failure.
Bone health. Calcium is the mineral that’s known to strongly correlate to bone health but recent studies have shown that silicon also plays a key role in bone health. Beer actually has appreciable levels of silicon and studies done on beer drinkers have shown that they tend to have a higher bone density than those who do not drink beer. Higher bone density is important in lowering the risk for fractures especially in older people where calcium metabolism is already compromised.
Brain health. Recent studies have also shown that beer and health of the brain are also closely linked. The result of these studies demonstrates that beer drinkers are less prone to mental illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s by a factor of about 20% than those who do not drink beer. This is a significantly important finding in the light of recent trends that show an increase in prevalence for Alzheimer’s disease.
Kidney health. Beer is a diuretic and it encourages urination in beer drinkers. Studies have shown a markedly lower risk for kidney stones in drinkers, possibly because urination promotes the elimination of salts which build-up to form kidney stones. These studies have likewise theorized that the increased bone density may be preventing the cannibalization of calcium from the bones; calcium in the kidneys is a common culprit for the formation of kidney stones.
Reduction in the risks for stroke. Alcohol makes blood thinner making it flow easier. Better blood flow lowers the risk for blood clots which normally causes stroke.
Again, the key to beer and health is moderation. The benefits of beer only manifest when the risks due to excessive alcohol consumption are not present. Doctors recommend drinking a glass or two a day and nothing more in order to reap the benefits of beer and health. Going beyond may trigger more serious worries related to alcoholism and liver damage. If you really want to continue drinking beer and be benefited from it, follow the government warning: drink moderately! Only then will you know that it’s good for you.