Author Topic: Beer: health tonic?  (Read 416 times)

cornershot

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Beer: health tonic?
« on: September 30, 2013, 09:20:23 PM »
I was just reading that malt provides about 70 ppm(70 mg/l) of magnesium and yeast needs 5ppm. It got me thinking about beer as a food source. The FDA recommends 400 mg of magnesium per day. It would take like 12 pints to get all the magnesium your body needs and at that volume the cons would outweigh the pros but even at a moderate 2 pints/ day at least you're contributing to your dietary needs just by drinking beer . I know beer also contains calcium, antioxidants, carbohydrates, proteins, other vitamins and minerals, and no doubt other benefits. So what are the health benefits of moderate homebrew consumption?
Not that I need a reason to drink but just as I like to know why I'm putting what in my beer I like to know why I'm putting what in my body.
Also my club likes to promote the responsible consumption of alcohol and I would like to know what that means beyond not drunk driving. Feel free to list cons as well as pros.

Offline hubie

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Re: Beer: health tonic?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2013, 06:53:20 AM »
"Guinness is good for you"

There are a whole slew of beneficial health things that various studies seem to correlate with moderate alcohol consumption.  The problem is that most of the studies are observational studies instead of experimental studies meaning that people are periodically questioned about a number of things such as alcohol consumption, whereas an experimental study would pick a number of people at random, have them drink a certain amount of alcohol per day, etc. (you can see why this would be much more difficult to do).  When they have their study data, then they go through and try to statistically remove the effects of other factors such as socioeconomic status, etc.  Moderate alcohol (not just homebrew) consumption can be very beneficial to the cardiovascular system.  After accounting for many factors some things don't stand out as well, such as a lower risk of developing Parkinson's Disease, however, there seems to be a good correlation between moderate alcohol drinkers and an overall healthier lifestyle (lower stress, more sociable, live longer,...), and a pretty strong correlation with better cardiovascular health (lower cholesterol, fewer incidents of heart disease).

Moderate is the key here.  There are many factors where this might not apply, such as someone predisposed to alcohol issues might turn their moderate consumption into heavy consumption and bring on all the negative health issues associated with that, or if someone is on medications that do not interact well with alcohol, then you're probably bringing on more issues than you might be solving.

Nutritionally, as you point out, beer in particular is not too shabby with it historically been referred to as liquid bread.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Beer: health tonic?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2013, 08:58:45 AM »
- Moderate consumption of beer is connected with bone health due to beer being a good source of dietary silicon.
 - Moderate consumption of dark beers is connected to cardiovascular health similar to red wine consumption.  This connection is stronger than alcoholic drinks generally (hard liquor, white wine, pale ales, etc.).

I say "connected" because I can't remember how strong and how well proven those connections are.

Following Hubies comments, one defect of these observational studies is that the teetotaler population includes alcoholics who have gone dry somewhat confounding comparisons of moderate consumption with no consumption. 
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