Today’s infographic is entitled 10 Surprising Health Benefits of Drinking Beer, and was created by the Future of Health Now. None of these are particularly surprising, especially to regular readers, but thanks to anti-alcohol biases they tend to be under-reported and breweries are, in fact, forbidden from making health claims about their beer, another neo-prohibitionist victory. But drink up — in moderation of course — you’ll live longer and it’ll annoy the hell out of them.
A new study out of Greece, conducted by the Harokopio University in Athens, appears to show that drinking a pint of beer a day may be beneficial to your heart. According to the abstract from the journal Nutrition:
In a randomized, single-blind, crossover study, 17 healthy, non-smoking, men (ages 28.5 ± 5.2 y with body mass index 24.4 ± 2.5 kg/m2) consumed on three separate occasions, at least 1 wk apart: 1. 400 mL of beer and 400 mL water, 2. 800 mL of dealcoholized beer (same amount of polyphenols as in the 400 mL of beer), and 3. 67 mL of vodka and 733 mL water (same amount of alcohol as in the 400 mL of beer).
Each time aortic stiffness (pulse wave velocity), pressure wave reflections (AΙx), aortic and brachial pressure (Sphygmocor device), and endothelial function (brachial flow mediated dilatation) were assessed at fast and 1 and 2 h postprandial.
Aortic stiffness was significantly and similarly reduced by all three interventions. However, endothelial function was significantly improved only after beer consumption (average 1.33%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.15–2.53). Although wave reflections were significantly reduced by all three interventions (average of beer: 9.1%, dealcoholized beer: 2.8%, vodka 8.5%, all CI within limits of significance), the reduction was higher after beer consumption compared with dealcoholized beer (P = 0.018). Pulse pressure amplification (i.e., brachial/aortic) was increased by all three test drinks.
From which, they drew the following conclusion. “Beer acutely improves parameters of arterial function and structure, in healthy non-smokers. This benefit seems to be mediated by the additive or synergistic effects of alcohol and antioxidants and merits further investigation.” So the results are preliminary and further studies need to be done. Still, it’s a step in the right direction if drinking beer in moderation can add one more benefit to the growing number of reasons why having a beer day isn’t just an enjoyable way to live, but may also be good for you, too. I’ll drink to that.
Today’s infographic is about The Healthiest Alcoholic Drinks, and was created by Policy Expert, a British insurance website. I hate the use of a calories as a measure of health, it makes no sense to me. Figure out how many calories you want and then do the math. Don’t pick the stuff with the lowest calories, especially if doing so means sacrificing flavor. Drink less, but drink better. But in the next chart they’re a little more reasonable, and it’s great to see in the “health facts” the statement that drinking in moderation tends to result in your living longer than folks who either abstain or drink too much.
Today’s infographic is a chart of standard drinks in Australia. It’s from Street Beat’s guide to alcohol use in Australia.