Beer is one of the oldest beverages in the world. Beer recipes can be found in Egyptian tombs, Mesopotamian archeological sites, and Babylonian texts.
Beer has been important in human culture for thousands of years. It’s no wonder some people proclaim that it has health benefits. While science can support some of these claims, remember that the guidelines suggest light to moderate consumption, one beer per day for females, two beer per day for males.
Potential benefits for your heart.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Several studies suggest that light to moderate beer and alcohol intake may be associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
A 12-week study in 36 adults who were overweight found that moderate beer intake improved the antioxidant properties of HDL (good) cholesterol while also improving the body’s ability to remove cholesterol. The review revealed that low to moderate beer intake could lower heart disease risk to a similar extent as wine.
However, it’s important to note that these potential benefits are related to light to moderate intake only. On the other hand, heavy alcohol consumption can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Improve Blood Sugar control
Light to moderate alcohol intake may improve blood sugar control, an issue for many people with diabetes. Several studies have found that light to moderate alcohol intake appears to reduce insulin resistance — a risk factor for diabetes — as well as the overall risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
What’s more, a large study in over 70,500 participants associated moderate alcohol intake — 14 drinks per week for men and nine drinks per week for women — with a 43% and 58% lower risk of diabetes for men and women, respectively.
However, heavy and binge drinking can counter these benefits and significantly increase the risk of diabetes.
Other potential benefits
Light to moderate beer intake may be associated with these benefits:
May aid bone density. Low to moderate beer intake may be linked to stronger bones in men and postmenopausal women.
May lower dementia risk. Light to moderate alcohol intake may lower the risk of dementia. However, heavy alcohol intake can instead increase the risk.
Light to moderate beer intake may be associated with a lower risk of heart disease, improved blood sugar control, stronger bones, and reduced dementia risk. However, heavy and binge drinking has the opposite effects.