Beer and the Brain

2012 Health Benefits of Beer

Beer and the Brain

Though it is often depicted as having detrimental effects to brain function, new studies on beer and the brain are in favor for moderate consumption of beer. Beer is the most consumed alcoholic beverage in the United States. Statistics estimate that the average American will consume about 23 gallons of beer every year. Studies on the consumption of beer and how it affects the brain have yielded a number of surprising results.

One research study on beer and the brain involved carrying out MRI scans of the brains of light and moderate beer drinkers and comparing them against MRI scans of non-beer drinkers. The results showed that light drinkers (those who had an average of six drinks a week) and moderate drinkers (14 drinks a week) were less likely to have strokes than non-drinkers. This is thought to be the effect of beer in thinning the blood in the brain thus discouraging the formation of blood clots which would lead to strokes. Moreover, the same studies indicate that heavy drinkers i.e. people who drink over 15 beers each week have the least amount of strokes. However, they were also the likeliest group of people to suffer from brain tissue atrophy where the brain tissues waste away as a result of excessive drinking.

Still other studies have shown that beer has a number of other great advantages when it comes to your health. Research has shown that individuals who are at high risk of heart disease would be better off consuming moderate amounts of beer. Beer is noted to have anti-inflammatory properties which is thought to have a notable effect on lowering the risk of heart disease in such individuals.

Moderate consumption of alcohol has also proved to be effective in reducing stress levels as well as improving an individual's mood. While beer is often referred to as empty calories, studies show that beer has a number of nutrients including riboflavin, iron, as well as magnesium and phosphorous.

Other studies comparing beer and other alcoholic drinks conclude that beer is a much more healthier option. Researchers have determined that beer is a healthier alcoholic option than wine when it comes to promoting brain function. Studies on individuals who drank the same amounts of wine and others who drank equal portions of beer found beer to be a healthier option.

These recent studies on beer and the brain have sparked reports that beer could be the next health drink. However, it should be noted that the benefits are only noted in persons who drink moderate amounts of beer. Exactly how much is moderate? Researchers studying the relationship between beer and the brain estimate that just one or two glasses of beer is enough to provide all these health benefits. Exceeding the moderate amount will prove to be detrimental to your health as such consumption tends to impair body and brain functions.