Beer and Heart Disease
2012 Health Benefits of Beer
Beer and Heart Disease
There are lots of beer lovers in the world which is why the question surrounding the relationship between beer and heart disease is one of interest to a large number of people. In many cultures around the world, beer is consumed in a manner almost as ubiquitous as water. At the end of a tiring day at work, many individuals like to have a cold beer just to ease away the stress that have built-up over the course of the workday.
Not surprisingly, beer is the ultimate on-the-fence product when it comes to looking at its health effects. There is a very strong body of evidence that supports the negative relationship between beer and heart disease. Consequently, another body of data shows that beer and heart disease are opposing points in the health spectrum. So which one really is it?
Without sounding too supportive of one stance and dismissive of another, perhaps the best answer is in moderation. Consider; in moderate amounts, the alcohol in beer helps to raise the level of good cholesterol in the blood which in turn helps fight plaque formation that oftentimes lead to atherosclerosis. This is a condition where the walls of the blood vessels become more constricted. It forces the heart to work harder to pump the same amount of blood. Eventually, the heart muscles tire resulting in heart failure.
By lowering the risk for atherosclerosis, the subsequent risk for heart failure is also lowered. Likewise, alcohol also works as a blood-thinning agent. This also helps in lowering the risk for stroke and embolism. In these moderate amounts, beer and heart disease obviously have a relationship that favors health and wellness over the more serious effects of excessive alcohol consumption.
Unfortunately, every bottle or glass of beer one drinks over one or two according to your body weight, also raises the risk for health problems. Alcohol is a toxin, a dehydrating agent that absorbs water from the body and causes cells to wither. The by-product of alcohol decomposition – acetaldehyde – is also a powerful toxin that degrades many of the tissues and organs in the body, particularly the liver. Specific to the heart, excess alcohol results in high blood pressure which in turn compromises the heart. From these circumstances arise various heart diseases like heart failure and enlarged or weakened heart among others.
The caveat is to not rely on beer to realize your goal for a healthy heart; rather, it is best to rely on exercise and a good diet to achieve that. Consequently, beer and heart disease should not be taken as a positive relationship that can make one have a better state of health. Instead, the risk of overconsumption of alcohol must always be taken as an argument against drinking on a regular basis. After all, alcoholism has plagued many of those who would have definitely chosen to be sober had they had the chance to safeguard themselves from the gripping effects of consuming too much alcohol.
In the unavoidable circumstance that beer and heart disease are to be considered in tandem, the best option is to drink in moderation. A bottle or two a day and nothing more should set you on your way to a healthy heart with a lower risk for heart ailments. Just always remember, as in the consumption of wine, moderation is the key.