WHEN IT COMES to alcohol and health benefits, wine typically gets all the glory. But numerous and varied studies have shown that beer could be just as beneficial. Great news for hops lovers! Here is a Top 1O list of some interesting beer and health studies. Just remember, these are just studies, not irrefutable proof, but we’ll still raise a brew to this!
1 LOWERS THE RISK OF KIDNEY STONES
A study suggested that the risk of developing kidney stones decreases with increasing beer consumption. Finnish researchers at the National Public Health Institute of Helsinki, used their detailed study of 27,OOO middle-aged men to conclude that “each bottle of beer consumed per day was estimated to reduce risk by 4O percent”. The study noted that both the water and alcohol found in beer are shown to increase urine flow and dilute urine, thereby reducing the risk of stones forming.
2 PROTECTS FROM HEART ATTACKS
A research team at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania found that dark ales and stouts can reduce the incidence of heart attacks. Atherosclerosis is known to cause heart problems, but the study, revealed that beer can cut the risk of this disease by as much as half.
3 REDUCES THE RISK OF STROKES
Studies by both Harvard Medical School and the American Stroke Association have shown that people who drink moderate amounts of beer can cut their risk of strokes by up to a 5O percent. When you drink beer, your arteries become flexible and blood flow improves significantly. As a result, no blood clots form, and the risk of having a stroke drops exponentially.
4 STRENGTHENS BONES
Beer is known to contain high levels of silicon, an element that promotes bone growth. Academics at Tufts University in Massachusetts found that whilst one or two glasses of beer a day could significantly reduce your risk of fracturing bones.
5 DECREASES THE CHANCE OF DIABETES
Harvard researchers found that drinking one or two glasses of beer each day appear to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 25 percent. A study of 38,OOO middle-aged men concluded that the alcohol content in beer increases insulin sensitivity, which helps prevent diabetes. Additionally, beer is a good source of soluble fiber – a dietary material that helps to control blood sugar and plays an important role in the diet of people with diabetes.
6 REDUCES THE RISK OF ALZHEIMER’S
Studies dating back to 1977 have suggested that beer drinkers can be up to 23 percent less likely to develop cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
7 CURES INSOMNIA
Beer is a natural nightcap. Ales, stouts and lagers have been found to stimulate the production of dopamine, a compound that may be prescribed to insomnia sufferers by a doctor, in the brain.
8 STOPS CATARACTS
Too much and your vision will get blurry, but consume just the right amount of beer and your eyes will benefit. Researchers at the University of Western Ontario found that the antioxidants in beer, particularly ales and stouts, protected against mitochondrial damage.
9 POSSIBLY CURES CANCER
Could beer cure cancer? Scientists at the University of Idaho think so. The National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, researchers presented findings that suggested a key ingredient in beer could be used in the fight against cancer and inflammatory diseases. Acids called humulones and lupulones, which are found in hops, possess the ability to halt bacterial growth and disease.
1O HELPS WITH WEIGHT LOSS
It may seem a strange one, considering the “beer belly” people often get as a result of too much alcohol, but researchers at the State University of Oregon believe that beer can help you shed some pounds. The scientists published a study earlier this year showing that a compound called xanthohumol, commonly found in hops, can lower an individual’s chances of developing metabolic syndrome – a condition that indicates obesity, elevated blood pressure, increased blood sugar, and bad high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. Sadly, the researchers concluded that humans would have to drink over 35OO pints of beer a day to feel the benefits of the “miracle” compound so this one’s just a pipe dream. Now if they could figure out how to put that into a pill format they’d really be on to something.