Craft Beer and Food

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Alcohol Consumption & Your Heart

What is the latest on beer, wine and your heart?

The bottom line regarding alcohol is that it may have heart and other health benefits when consumed in moderation.

How does the medical community define moderation? According to the Mayo Clinic website, moderate drinking is defined as two drinks a day if you're a male 65 and younger, or one drink a day if you're a female or a male 66 and older. A drink is defined as 12 ounces (355 milliliters) of beer, 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine or 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) of 80-proof distilled spirits. While most of the experts agree that moderate consumption may have benefits they clearly to not recommend anyone begins drinking alcohol to treat or prevent diseases.

Benefits often associated with moderate alcohol include:

  • Reduce your risk of developing heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and intermittent claudication
  • Reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack
  • Possibly reduce your risk of strokes, particularly ischemic strokes
  • Lower your risk of gallstones
  • Possibly reduce your risk of diabetes

Red wine may not be alone in its benefits. According to UC Davis beer is beneficial.

The ancient Egyptians found a number of uses for beer as a mouthwash, an enema and a wound healer. While not necessarily endorsing these medicinal applications, UC Davis brewing scientist Charles Bamforth suggests that beer may possess many nutritional qualities that make the beverage part of an overall healthy and balanced diet.

"It appears that beer is at least on par with wine in terms of potential health benefits," says Bamforth, who published a review article on the nutritional qualities of beer in the January-February issue of the online scientific journal Nutrition Research

So, you can enjoy that beer or glass of wine guilt free.


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