BEER BENEFITS AROUND THE BODY
Study after study has shown that, when consumed in moderation by adults without underlying health conditions, beer and its broad nutritional constituents – ethanol, folic acid, polyphenols (antioxidants), dietary fibres, proteins and amino acids and essential trace elements –combine to provide a wealth of health benefits around the body and a reduced overall mortality risk. Take a tour of our Beer Benefits Around the Body to discover more…
Several studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption in those aged 55 and over may provide protection against dementia or memory loss and one study showed this benefit to be particularly relevant to women1.
Numerous studies continue to show that drinking beer can have a protective effect on the heart and that those who drink moderately have a much lower chance of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who don’t drink at all. One study measured the response of the aorta in healthy non-smokers after they had consumed 400mls of beer and found that beer acutely improved both function and structure of the aorta and the blood flow and pressure in the lining of blood vessels2.
Beer contains high levels of silicon, a mineral which plays a vital role in the growth and maintenance of bones and joint tissue and protects against osteoporosis. Silicon is not naturally produced by the body but is found in large quantities in the husk of barley which is used in the beer-making process. Hops, another key ingredient in beer, also contain humulone, a compound which has been found to reduce the reabsorption (breaking down) of bone in the body3.
Researchers in Spain found that women who drink beer regularly and moderately are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis than those who don’t drink at all4.
Studies have shown that particular compounds extracted from hops contain properties which can mimic female hormones such as oestrogenq5. The study suggests that drinking beer can have a protective effect against menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes.
The Helicobacter pylori bacteria is thought to be one of main causes of gastric disorders including stomach ulcers. A German study6 carried out into 417 otherwise healthy people found that 17% were infected with the H. pylori bacteria and it reported that there was a direct and inverse relationship between the amount of alcohol (beer or wine) consumed and the rate of infection. Those who drank more than 75g of alcohol per week had a 66% less risk of being infected than those who abstained. Even those who drank 75g or less per week had a 37% less risk.
The ethanol and acidity of beer is thought to be the reason why drinking it has been found to help prevent constipation.7
SKIN, HAIR AND NAILS
As we’ve seen above, beer contains high levels of silicon, a mineral thought to play a vital part in the synthesis of collagen, a protein vital for the healthy growth and structure of skin, nails and hair cells. The silicon in beer is easily absorbed (highly bioavailable8) into the body making beer a very effective source of this essential mineral.
One study found that moderate intake of beer resulted in an increase in a protein hormone called Adiponectin which is responsible for a number of metabolic processes including glucose regulation9 Poor glucose regulation is associated with a higher risk of Type II Diabetes.
- Alcohol consumption and risk of dementia. Ruitenberg, A.; Van Swieten, J.C.; Witteman, J.C Lancet 2002, 359, 281–286.
- Acute effects of beer on endothelial function and hemodynamics: A single-blind, crossover study in healthy volunteers h Kalliopi Karatzi Victoria G. Rontoyanni Athanase D. Protogerou Aggeliki Georgoulia Konstantinos Xenos John Chrysou Petros P. Sfikakis ,Labros S. Sidossis www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(13)00108-1/abstract
- Bone resorption inhibitors from hop extract. Tobe, H.; Muraki, Y.; Kitamura, K.; Komiyama, O.; Sato, Y.; Nutrition. 2009 Oct;25(10):057-63. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2009.02.007. Epub 2009 Jun 13.
- Effect of beer drinking on ultrasound bone mass in women.Pedrera-Zamorano JD, Lavado-Garcia JM, Roncero-Martin R, Calderon-Garcia JF, Rodriguez-Dominguez T, Canal-Macias ML. Nutrition. 2009 Oct;25(10):057-63. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2009.02.007. Epub 2009 Jun 13
- Xanthohumol and related prenylflavonoids from hops and beer: To your good health. Stevens, J.F.; Page, J.E. Phytochemistry 2004, 65, 1317–1330.
- Inverse graded relation between alcohol consumption and active infection with Helicobacter plyori. Brenner, H.; Rothenbache, D.; Bode, G.; Adler, G. American Journal of Epidemiology 1999, 149, 571–576.
- Alcohol and the elderly. Dufour, M.C.; Archer, L.; Gordis, E Clinical in Geriatric Medicine 1992, 8, 127–141.
- The silicon content of beer and its bioavailability in healthy volunteers. Sripanyakorn S, Jugdaohsingh R, Elliot H, et al. Br J Nutr 2004;91:403-9
- Effect of Drinking on Adiponectin in Healthy Men and Women Armin Imhof, MD, Ines Plamper, MS, Steffen Maier, MS, Gerlinde Trischler and Wolfgang Koenig, MD Journal of the American Diabetes Association.