As a fan of beer, I am constantly bombarded by incongruent news stories. It seems that the medical research community are unable to decide whether beer is good for you. It seems that beer, and more broadly alcohol, continues to be seen as an evil that causes a plethora of chronic diseases, conditions and ailments. But every now and then good beer news surfaces.
In August, I collated a handful of articles suggesting the consumption of beer was beneficial and now I’ve got some more great news. Recently published research from Denmark suggests that moderate beer consumption may just lower the risk of diabetes.
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The study, which involved 70,000 drinkers and non-drinkers, found men who drank fourteen drinks a week and women who drank nine drinks a week as the two populations at the lowest risk for diabetes. This study, like many other studies, indicates that moderate consumption is the key here. Researchers suggested that beer, and wine, were better choices for diabetic health as they added no sugars after fermentation.
Registered dietitian Michelle Dudash explains that the figures of twelve and nine drinks per week can be deceptive. For the purpose of the study, it is important to understand that a standard sized, 5% beer was considered one drink. With so much variance of ABV due to styles, keep in mind that your beers may count as more or less than one standard drink. For example, a 10% DIPA would count as two drinks.
Further research published by Penn State in 2016 suggests that moderate alcohol consumption may also be helpful for maintaining heart health. The study tracked the cholesterol levels of 80,000 participants over a six year period and found that men who consumed one or two drinks daily, and women who consumed half to one drink daily, were likely to maintain their “good” cholesterol levels, leading to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Before you tap the keg and get chugging, keep in mind that significant numbers of studies report on the negative health effects of excessive alcohol consumption. The excess consumption of calories can cause significant weight gain, leading to the famed “beer belly” and a host of other medical complications. With beers generally containing 100-200 calories, the totals can quickly add up.
The American Cancer Association also ties excess alcohol consumption to cancers such as mouth, throat, voice box, esophagus, liver, colon and rectum and breast.
So enjoy your beer in moderation and reap the health benefits, until research and the media tell us it’s bad again.
Please consult a medical professional regarding any health concerns tied to alcohol consumption
So There You Have It
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