Beer is one of the oldest and probably the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world. It is sometimes even referred to as “liquid bread”. Brewer’s yeast, one of the beer’s main components, is known to be a rich source of nutrients and this means that beer may have some health benefits. But on the other hand, beer contains alcohol, which is known to cause some serious negative effects on our health.
Beer’s benefits :
1. Source of vitamins, minerals and flavonoids – Beer is rich in many vitamins of the B group and in minerals such as magnesium. Barley and hops used in the production of beer are rich in flavonoids, which have powerful antioxidant effects.
2. Coronary heart disease (CHD)There is quit - e strong evidence that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption has cardio-protective properties. Many research studies demonstrate a lower coronary heart disease incidence among moderate beer drinkers. Moderate drinkers are at lower risk of CHD-related mortality than both heavy drinkers and abstainers. Vitamin B6 in beer also seems to prevent the alcohol-induced rise in blood homocysteine, a probable heart disease risk factor.
3.Cholesterol - Moderate alcohol drinking affects many processes in the body, one of which is the significant increase in HDL cholesterol – the good cholesterol. There is supporting evidence for beer’s cardio-protective effect and for its help in altering the ratio of beneficial HDL cholesterol to the LDL cholesterol.
4.Kidney stones - Beer consumption may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. Finnish researches found that there was a 40% lower risk of kidney stones in beer drinkers.
5.X-Rays radioprotection - Japanese researchers found that beer helps reduce chromosomal damage from radiation exposure.
Some of the negative effects from regular beer drinking :
1. “Beer belly” - Heavy beer drinking may promote abdominal obesity in men, so called “beer belly”.
2.Heartburn – Beer contains powerful stimulants of gastric acid secretion and may provoke gastroesophageal reflux and cause heartburn.
3.Blood pressure – Daily beer consumption (approximately 40 g of alcohol) may increase blood pressure.
4.Intoxication & Dehydration - Alcohol is a dehydrating agent and downer that reduces activity of the central nervous system. High amounts of alcohol can turn into dehydration, intoxication, and hangover.
5.Impairment of driving related skills - Even small amounts of alcohol can have adverse effects on attention and motor skills. Many serious accidents are alcohol related.