Why Beer Could Be Good for Your Health

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That beer belly of yours might not be associated with beer at all, according to a Czech Republic study cited recently by Harvard’s Harvey B. Simon, M.D.

Though most of us can agree that drinking copious amounts of beer will more than likely result in negative health effects, scientific research suggests that consuming beer in moderation can actually improve your health. Take heart, beer lovers, and consider the following rewards of kicking back with your favorite brew.

Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

A lower risk of cardiovascular disease has been observed in men and women who drink beer. The higher HDL levels (known as “good cholesterol”) in alcohol can be linked to this, according to Harvard researchers, who observe a consistent 25-40% reduction in risk.

Having high levels of good cholesterol can be a big health boost for your heart, especially if you are able to keep levels of “bad” cholesterol down. Bad cholesterol weakens your heart and leads to more stress overall for your most important muscle.

Less Likely To Develop Diabetes

The experts at the Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine claim that moderate consumers of beer are 30% less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who abstain entirely.

This is particularly interesting since Type 2 diabetes is the type that has been rising in prominence in recent years, because of the link to obesity. Type 2 diabetes results when an individual becomes resistant to the insulin in their blood stream, or has a relatively low level of insulin.

Good For Your Bones

The silicon content found in beer can be good for bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis if consumed in moderation, as cited by Sarah Jo Nixon, PhD of the University of Florida.

Osteoporosis is the weakening of bones with age, which we generally consider to be the result of insufficient calcium. However, certain nutrients apart from calcium (like silicon) can still bolster your bone strength as you age.

Prevents Blood Clots

Preventing blood clots is also among the list of health benefits, as the man who has an occasional drink will reduce the chances of developing peripheral arterial disease.

Peripheral arterial disease is caused by inflammation that develops and eventually blocks blood flow through the large arteries, most commonly leading to a lack of blood supply for the feet and legs. This same study also found that light beer drinkers reduced several other risk factors for stroke.

Consume In Moderation

The early 1900’s advertising motto “Guinness is good for you” might now have the science to back it up, after all. In addition to the benefits listed above that might come with a brew or two, consider the soothing and relaxing effects that a small amount of alcohol gives many people at the end of a stressful day at work.

And as with all studies that cite the benefits of drinking alcohol – the quantities are very limited. It doesn’t take a scientist to know that anything more than a few beers isn’t going to be a big boost to your health, and overindulgence in alcohol comes with a host of its own health problems. But when you get home from work tonight and reach for that beer in your fridge, at least you know there will be some benefits in there for your health.

Sources:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mens_Health_Watch/2011/April/beer-belly
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/alcohol-full-story/#possible_health_benefits
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15735217?dopt=Citation
http://m.ufandshands.org/bottoms-health-benefits-beer
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9024142?dopt=Citation

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