Popping the top on a beer at the end of a long day of work can be the most relaxing thing in the world, but not only do you feel more calm after you’ve had one beer, but other remarkable things begin to happen to your body. In this article, we will look at what science has to say about the health effects of having one beer a day.
THESE THINGS HAPPEN TO YOUR BODY WHEN YOU HAVE ONE BEER A DAY
What if drinking one beer a day had health benefits and also nutritional benefits? The good news is that science actually backs up your moderate daily beer consumption as being a healthy thing you can do for your body. Let’s look further at the reasons that a beer a day keeps the doctor away.
NATURAL CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS THAT YOU GET WHEN YOU HAVE ONE BEER A DAY
Scientists at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University studied the hop compounds, flavinoids, and prenylflavonoids of beer and their potential health benefits.When the plant hops undergoes a brewing process, it changes through a chemical process called isomerization. The hops chemical compounds start as Humulone, which changes to Isohumulone and Xanthohumol, which changes to Isoxanthohumol.
Xanthohumol is a biochemical that has been marketed as a dietary supplement with numerous health benefits. These include:
* Works like estrogen replacement therapy for menopausal women
* Cancer prevention
* Inhibition of tumor growth
* Effects on glucose and lipid metabolism
* Increases liver and intestinal metabolism
This is all good news for your body. The doses required to get these effects from the Xanthohumol in beer however would require you to drink much more than one beer a day. The research also found that Xanthohumol lowers body weight in obese male rats over a 6-week dietary supplement regimen. The researchers concluded that:
* Pharmacologically relevant concentrations of xanthohumol cannot be reached by consumption of beer alone
* Pharmacologically relevant concentrations can be reached by oral administration of supplements
* Xanthohumol reduces weight gain in rats, and it may be a model for controlling obesity and type II diabetes for humans in higher doses
* Xanthohumol lowers fasting plasma glucose levels in rats at higher doses
* Xanthohumol lowers plasma free fatty acids in rats, which improves mitochondrial function in the cells
HEALTH EFFECTS IN YOUR BODY WHEN YOU HAVE ONE BEER A DAY
Moderate consumption of beer, or one beer a day, is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease. In a review of the nutritional benefits of drinking one beer a day, scientists say ‘From a nutritional standpoint, beer contains more protein and B vitamins than wine. The antioxidant content of beer is equivalent to that of wine, but the specific antioxidants are different because the barley and hops used in the production of beer contain flavonoids different from those in the grapes used in the production of wine.’
Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center looked at the nutritional and health benefits of beer. They found that beer contains a remarkable number of beneficial dietary components and that when you have one beer a day, it can have significantly positive health benefits.
Beer contain many essential vitamins. Among these are B vitamins including niacin or B3, thiamine or B1, riboflavin or B2, pyroxidine or B6, and cobalamin or B12. Beer also contains the vitamins folate, and pantothenic acid. Essential minerals are also present in beer, for example, magnesium, iron, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, cadmium, and selenium. Beer contains more nutritional protein than wine, and it is a good source of carbohydrates.
Beer also contains many polyphenols and phytochemicals like the phenolic acid ferulic acid and the flavonoids formononetin, genistein biochanin A daidzein, prodelphinidin B3, procyanidin B3, catechin, and epicatechin.
The University of Texas Southwestern analysis also showed that beer has positive effects on human cardiovascular health. They say ‘The extent of atherosclerosis by angiography, was inversely associated with alcohol consumption.’ In other words, beer can lead to less risk of plaque build up on the arterial walls in the blood vessels, which contributes to a lower risk of a blockage, such as in a stroke.
Why does beer help reduce the risk of heart health problems? The scientists say ’30-50% of the overall reduction in heart disease can be explained by the HDL raising effects of alcohol.’ Beer helps improve the levels of good cholesterol in the blood. The researchers found that ‘Alcohol raises HDL cholesterol levels in a dose-dependent fashion. A single, daily alcoholic beverage raised HDL cholesterol levels 4.4% or 2 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter).’ When you have one beer a day, your blood vessels will thank you.
The researchers also say that drinking one beer a day, a moderate amount, can help thin your blood, similar to the effect of taking an aspirin; ‘Another attractive explanation for the protective effect of alcohol is the effects on thrombosis. It is well known that alcohol intake increases bleeding time. Moderate alcohol consumption impairs platelet aggregation, by affecting production of thromboxane A2. Alcohol may improve the fluidity of red blood cell membranes.’ So your blood is thinner with a small amount of beer, and the blood can move more easily from cell to cell, as it carries oxygen and to your cells.