Scientists reveal that beer in moderation prevents heart attack and stroke. European scientists have highlighted the beneficial health of moderate consumption of beer, including the prevention of cardiovascular problems and respiratory effects, and have excluded the myth of the ‘beer belly’.
The VII European Congress on Beer and Health, held in Brussels this week brought together some 160 international experts in medicine and nutrition from 24 countries, among them Germany, Ireland, Italy and the UK.
Spanish researchers from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, University of Barcelona and the Cardiovascular Research Center (CSIC-ICCC), highlighted the potential benefits of beer, with and without alcohol on cardiovascular health, obesity, nutrition and prevention of cell aging.
‘Moderate consumption of beer along with a healthy diet, like the Mediterranean, helps prevent major cardiovascular complications such as myocardial infarction or stroke,” said Dr. Ramón Estruch, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona.
According to him, studies in Spain have shown that non-alcoholic beer also has a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases.
The director of CSIC-ICCC, Linda Badimon, pointed out that the moderate consumption of beer can ‘foster global cardiac function.’ For quantities considered moderate, it was explained that men can drink two glasses per day and women can drink one.
Polyphenols, compounds found mostly in foods of plant origin and also in beer, are those that can reduce the risks of having stroke and cancer due to its antioxidant properties.
‘In Beer we find 50 types of polyphenols, which when ingested by the body, have beneficial effects on blood pressure, lipids or insulin resistance,”explained Rosa Lamuela of the University of Barcelona.
The doctor of public health in the UK Kathryn O’Sullivan belied the belief that beer can cause a ‘belly’, since this ‘has no scientific basis’. She said that the excessive intake of any alcohol can lead to weight gain, but not if consumed moderately.
Rehydration that beer provides athletes with after performing exercise was another of the aspects highlighted at the event. The doctor Manuel Castillo Garzón said that beer, unlike other alcoholic beverages, has little amount of alcohol, lots of water (95%) and potassium, able to rehydrate athletes.
Given that prolonged exercise increases the risk of diseases of the upper respiratory tract, beer stands as a food complement which is an enabling factor which can reduce inflammation and infection, because it contains polyphenol compounds, assured Dr. Garzón, who operates in Johannes Scherr Technical Hospital of Munich. (With information from EFE International News Agency).
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