Lager is good for you because it can boost your gut microbiome, study claims
Drinking lager is GOOD for your gut health, studies claim — but researchers say you should only drink one a day and keep it non-alcoholic
- Researchers have found that drinking a beer a day can boost good bacteria in your gut
- Portuguese scientists found that non-alcoholic lagers had the same effect
- A greater diversity of bacteria in the gut is thought to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
Drinking a beer with dinner is really good for you – but make sure you stick to it.
Researchers found that men who drank a lager every night had healthier guts.
It could theoretically reduce the risk of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
But the Portuguese study won’t rekindle the endless fight over alcohol’s health benefits.
That’s because alcohol-free lagers seemingly had the same effect.
Experts from NOVA University Lisbon advised 0 percent supply because ‘the safest level of alcohol consumption is none’.
Portuguese researchers have found that drinking one brew a day can reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes by boosting good bacteria in your gut
Nineteen healthy men, ages 23 to 58, were asked to drink 330ml bottles of Super Bock lager with their dinner every night for a month.
About half of the beers contained 5.2 percent alcohol, the rest were non-alcoholic.
However, there was no control group.
Volunteers were told not to change what they normally ate or drank during the study or the way they exercised.
At the end of the experiment, there was no visible difference in the weight, fat mass or cholesterol levels of the men.
Analysis of fecal samples – taken before and after the study – showed that they had a higher number of bacteria in their gut.
Both groups had a similar increase, close to 7 percent.
Researchers said the study showed that consuming one bottle of beer, regardless of alcohol content, can be beneficial for men’s gut health.
Although the study only looked at lager, all types of beer are expected to have the same effect on the microbiome.
The authors said that beers with higher amounts of yeast, such as unfiltered beers, may have an even greater effect.
Beer is thought to improve the microbiome — the collection of bacteria and fungi that live in us — because it contains polyphenols.
The NHS recommends adults drink no more than 14 units a week – that’s 14 single shots of spirits or six pints of beer or a bottle and a half of wine
These are micronutrients that occur naturally in plants and beer is the only source of hop polyphenols in the human diet.
Hops are used almost exclusively by the beer production industry to give beers their distinctive aromas and bitterness, especially in Indian pale ales.
The polyphenols are thought to be able to reach the stomach, where they can help determine which bacteria thrive.
The researchers said, “Reduced bacterial diversity has been linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”
But heavy drinking is incredibly dangerous, with studies suggesting that just a glass of wine or a pint of beer every night in middle age can age your brain by two years.
Alcohol abuse is associated with various cancers, liver disease, pancreatitis, heart failure and brain damage.
The NHS recommends that adults drink no more than 14 units a week – six pints of beer or one and a half bottles of wine.
The research is published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry†
DO YOU DRINK TOO MUCH ALCOHOL? THE 10 QUESTIONS THAT REVEAL YOUR RISK
A screening tool commonly used by medical professionals is the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Tests). The 10-question test was developed in collaboration with the World Health Organization and is considered the gold standard for determining whether someone has problems with alcohol abuse.
The test is reproduced here with permission from the WHO.
To complete it, answer each question and write down the corresponding score.
0-7: You are within the responsible drinking range and have a low risk of alcohol-related problems.
More than 8: Mention harmful or dangerous drinking.
8-15: Average risk level. If you drink at your current level, you risk developing problems with your health and your life in general, such as work and relationships. Consider decreasing (see below for tips).
16-19: Higher risk of complications from alcohol. Cutting back 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 counselor.
20 years and older: Possible dependence. Your alcohol use is already causing problems and you could very well be dependent. You should definitely consider stopping gradually or at least reducing your drinking. You should seek professional help to determine the extent of your dependence and the safest way to quit alcohol.
Severe dependence may require medically assisted withdrawal or detox 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.