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Beer could be GOOD for you: Scientists find drinking could boost gut health


  • Scientists have found that drinking beer might be better than abstaining completely
  • The polyphenols, fibers and ethanol contained in beer strengthen the immune system
  • But experts warn that alcohol is only beneficial in moderation and causes cancer.

Drinking beer may be good for gut health and the immune system, scientists suggest.

Researchers have found that drinking pints in moderation may be better for some aspects of your health than abstaining altogether.

It is believed that drinking beer boosts the body’s immune system with an array of healthy gut-friendly bacteria.

The study, carried out by Dalian Medical University in China, claims that the polyphenols, fiber and ethanol in beer are the key ingredients for boosting your immune system.

Beer has been suggested to be more beneficial to the gut than the probiotics found in yogurt and cheese.

It has been shown to be more effective than probiotics when consumed in moderation.

Probiotics are foods containing live microorganisms believed to have health benefits.

They include trendy kimchi and kombucha, but it is also found in cheese and yogurt.

“As a long-established fermented beverage, beer is rich in many essential amino acids, vitamins, trace elements, and bioactive substances involved in the regulation of many human physiological functions,” the authors write.

So how much is TOO much?

NHS recommendations state that adults should drink no more than 14 units a week, either 14 single glasses of spirits or six pints of beer or one and a half bottles of wine.

They should also spread their drinking over three or more days to avoid binge drinking.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises Americans to drink no more than 14 standard alcoholic beverages per week for men and seven for women.

A standard alcoholic beverage includes 12 ounces of 5 percent beer, 8 ounces of 7 percent malt liquor, 5 ounces of 12 percent wine, or 1.5 ounces of spirits including rum, gin, vodka or whiskey.

Excessive alcohol consumption over many years is already linked to a host of health problems such as high blood pressure, the risk of stroke and a whole host of cancers.

The scientists add: “The polyphenols in malt and hops in beer are also important active compounds that interact in both directions with the gut microbiome.

“Due to the conversion of beer substrates, the formation of bioactive end products, and the presence of microorganisms, some of its components exert ‘similar’ or even superior effects to those of probiotics.”

He argued for further use of “bioactive beer products” for their health benefits.

They even claimed that future products – labeled health beers – could prevent later illnesses such as arteriosclerosis and heart disease and improve blood circulation.

The review published in the review Nutrition Frontiersstates: “Combining these results from human and animal studies, there is consensus that moderate beer consumption has a beneficial effect on the immune system in relation to states of alcohol abuse or of abstinence.

“When alcohol consumption is controlled within safe limits, the combined effects of alcohol and other metabolic components on the gut flora deserve more comprehensive analysis.”

However, they cautioned that beer’s gut benefits only apply to moderate drinkers.

The review states: “The risk of death is lower in light and moderate drinkers and increased in heavy drinkers. »

Professor Naveed Sattar, professor of cardiovascular and metabolic health at the University of Glasgow, says the study “misses the big picture”.

“It is true that some ingredients in beer can have positive health effects, but they are easily overcome by the alcohol itself,” he told the Telegraph.

Excessive alcohol consumption has been shown to increase the risk of serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, liver disease and several types of cancer, according to the NHS.

To keep alcohol-related health risks low, the NHS advises men and women to drink no more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.


AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Tests) is a screening tool widely used by healthcare professionals. Developed in conjunction with the World Health Organization, the 10-question test is considered the gold standard for determining if someone has alcohol abuse problems.

The test has been reproduced here with permission from WHO.

To complete it, answer each question and note the corresponding score.

1666730215 496 Responsible drinking posts about beer and wine are seen as

1666730215 898 Responsible drinking posts about beer and wine are seen as


0-7: You are within the reasonable drinking range and are at low risk for alcohol-related problems.

More than 8: Indicate harmful or dangerous consumption.

8am-3pm: Medium risk level. Drinking at your current level puts you at risk of developing health and life issues in general, such as at work and in relationships. Consider downsizing (see below for tips).

16-19: Higher risk of alcohol-related complications. Reducing on your own can be difficult at this level as you may be dependent so you may need professional help from your GP and/or a counsellor.

20 years and over: Possible dependency. Your drinking is already causing you problems and you could very well be addicted to it. You should definitely consider phasing out or at least reducing your alcohol intake. You should seek professional help to determine the level of your addiction and the safest way to withdraw from alcohol.

Severe addiction may require medically assisted withdrawal, or drug rehabilitation, in a hospital or specialist clinic. This is due to the likelihood of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the first 48 hours requiring specialist treatment.

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