Studies show beer is good for the heart

March 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Saint Patrick's Day is Sunday and if you plan to make a toast to the Irish tradition, that pint of "green beer" might help your health.

Brew Master Eric says his mixtures might become the toast of the town for their health benefits.

Dr. Sara Jo Nixon, Addiction Expert said, "Well alcohol's been used as medication for forever and ever."

Nixon says, like red wine, drinking beer can be good for your heart. An Italian study of more than 200,000 people found those who drank a pint a day, had a 31 percent decrease in heart disease risk. Beer can also raise HDL, the good cholesterol in your body.

A 2009 study found the high levels of silicon in beer can be good for bones, as well.

"We also know that there's a line between too much alcohol being bad for bones," Nixon said.

Harvard studies found beer can prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke, and that a few beers a day lowered the risk of diabetes in middle-aged men by 25 percent.

Research in Europe found moderate beer drinkers had 30 percent higher levels of the disease-fighting vitamin B6 compared to non-drinkers.

"But, you can't substitute a beer for your multi-vitamin," Nixon said.

Nixon says that moderation is key. It's recommended women have no more than one drink a day and men, no more than two, because the organ systems that benefit from a few beers.

A few more benefits of beer: a study in Finland says, men who drank a few bottles daily lowered their risk of kidney stones by 40 percent.

Research also found marinating a steak in beer could reduce the risk of cancer because it wipes out the majority of carcinogens that are produced when meat is fried in a pan.


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