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How drinking the odd pint could boost your gut health


But the evidence on the overall health benefits of alcohol is mixed, with some experts saying that all things considered, no alcohol is good for your health.

“When beer is consumed in moderation, the phenols and other nutrients it contains are fermented and broken down by the microbial community residing in the outer mucosal layer of the intestine,” the Chinese authors of the latest review state.

The study, conducted by Dalian Medical University, adds more evidence to the ongoing debate about the pros and cons of drinking alcohol for health.

The review “misses the big picture”

But Professor Naveed Sattar, a professor of cardiovascular and metabolic health at the University of Glasgow, told The Telegraph that the review “doesn’t capture the big picture.”

“It’s true that some of the ingredients in beer can have positive health impacts, but the alcohol itself easily outweighs them,” he said.

The review, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, also states that beer has been shown to help people fight the common cold and reduce the chances of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and diabetes.

“The risk of death is lower in light and moderate drinkers and higher in heavy drinkers,” the review also states.

“There is consensus that moderate beer consumption has a beneficial effect on the immune system compared to states of alcohol abuse or withdrawal.”

“Any amount of alcohol increases the risk of cancer”

However, Professor Sattar refutes some of these claims.

“Any amount of alcohol increases cancer risk and blood pressure and the evidence that any alcoholic beverage is good for the heart is simply not true,” he told The Telegraph.

“Unfortunately, articles like this miss the big picture and the broader evidence base.”

Professor Sattar was instrumental in creating Scottish guidelines for alcohol consumption based on available data, finding that “patients with or without evidence of cardiovascular disease should be advised to reduce alcohol consumption and even Light to moderate alcohol consumption may increase cardiovascular risk.

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