Health Risks & Concerns

health

The Good:

Source of Vitamins, Minerals and Flavonoids.

Beer is rich in many vitamins of the B group and in such minerals as magnesium. Barley and hops used in the production of beer are rich in flavonoids, which have powerful antioxidant effects.

Coronary heart disease (CHD).

There is a quite strong evidence that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption has cardio-protective properties. Many research studies demonstrate a lower coronary heart disease incidence among moderate beer drinkers. Moderate drinkers are at lower risk of CHD-related mortality than both heavy drinkers and abstainers. Vitamin B6 in beer seems to prevent the alcohol-induced rise in blood homocysteine, a probable heart disease risk factor. Also, beer intake decreases blood coagulation activity (inhibiting the formation of potentially dangerous blood clots).

Cholesterol.

Moderate alcohol intake affects many processes in the body, one of which is the significant increase in HDL cholesterol - the good cholesterol. There is supporting evidence for beer’s cardio-protective effect and for its help in altering the ratio of beneficial high-density lipoprotein cholesterol to the low-density cholesterol .

Kidney stones.

Beer consumption may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. Finnish researches found that there was a 40% lower risk of kidney stones in beer drinkers.

X-Rays radioprotection.

Japan researchers found that beer helps reduce chromosomal damage from radiation exposure .


The Bad:

Beer belly.

Heavy beer drinking may promote abdominal obesity in men. Though many scientific researches attribute it to the high calorie snacks eaten along with beer and not beer itself.

Heartburn.

Beer may induce gastroesophageal reflux and cause heartburn . Beer contains powerful stimulants of gastric acid secretion.

Blood pressure.

Daily beer consumption (approximately 40 g of alcohol) may increase blood pressure .

Gout.

Beer contains much higher amounts of purines than other alcoholic beverages. Researchers found that regular beer intake increases the risk of gout .

Dehydration.

Alcohol is a dehydrating agent.

Intoxication.

Alcohol is a downer that reduces activity of the central nervous system. High amounts of alcohol can turn into intoxication and hangover. The alcohol intoxication causes loose muscle tone, loss of motor coordination, slower reaction times, lowering of caution and other negative effects.

Impairment of driving-related skills.

Even low amounts of alcohol can adversely effects attention and motor skills. In fact, many serious accidents are alcohol related.

Interactions with medications.

Alcohol may interact harmfully with a great number medications: anticoagulants, medication for diabetes, beta blockers, antihistamines, antibiotics, antidepressants, pain relievers, sleeping pills.

Pregnancy.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause a number of birth defects, ranging from mild to severe. Alcohol is quickly transferred from the mother's bloodstream to the baby's. Researchers have not been able to determine the exact amount of alcohol that is "safe" for the development of the baby.

Alcoholism.

Heavy drinking can develop into an addiction.


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