You may have heard that wine may be good for your health – but what about beer? Like most guys, we love a good beer now and then. And while drinking excessively isn’t great for your waistline and your overall health, there may be some health benefits to moderate beer consumption. If you’ve wondered if beer is good for you, keep reading!
What Are the Benefits of Beer?
1. Beer Contains Vitamins and Minerals
Believe it or not, beer does contain vitamins and minerals that are important for human health. For example, one serving (12 oz) contains 9% of the daily value of niacin and 7% of riboflavin.
However, beer isn’t a good source of vitamins and minerals when compared to whole foods like fruits and vegetables. If consuming micronutrients is your main priority, then you’re best off skipping the alcohol and eating a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables.
2. Beer May Improve Gut Health
According to a 2022 study, beer may improve your gut and overall health. In the study, 22 healthy men drank 330 mL (approximately one bottle) of alcoholic or non-alcoholic beer every day for four weeks.
At the end of the study, blood and fecal samples indicated that beer consumption had increased gut microbiota diversity, which is associated with positive health outcomes. The men did not gain significant weight nor did the consumption change significant cardiometabolic biomarkers.
Since the study included NA beer, it’s thought that the positive outcomes were caused by polyphenols rather than alcohol. This is great news for teetotalers, who may want to experience the benefits of beer without actually drinking alcohol.
3. Beer May Have a Positive Effect on Cardiovascular Health
According to a 2020 meta-analysis of 26 clinical studies, moderate beer consumption may improve cardiovascular elasticity as well as flow-mediated dilation (FMD). But here’s the thing: this only applies to moderate drinkers, not heavy drinkers. So what is moderate consumption? For this analysis, moderate consumption for men was considered up to two bottles or cans at 5% alcohol.
Beer May Reduce Your Risk of Neurodegenerative Disease
A 2019 review suggests that light to moderate consumption of beer as part of a Mediterranean diet may help to protect against neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s. Beer contains compounds like silicon and hops, which may have protective effects on the brain.
Like the first study, this review also considered the effects of non-alcoholic beer, which had benefits similar to those of alcoholic beer.
Alcohol May Reduce Your Risk of Developing Diabetes
A 2017 examination of a 2008 Danish survey examination shows moderate alcohol consumption (including beer consumption) is associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes. The study observed the lowest risk of diabetes in men who consumed 14 drinks per week.
However, the frequency of alcohol consumption was important. The survey found that drinking three to four days per week (rather than daily consumption or binge drinking) produced the best effect. However, heavy drinking and binge drinking can significantly raise your risk of developing diabetes. Moderation is key.
Alcohol May Help Maintain Bone Density
A 2009 study of older adults indicated that moderate consumption of alcohol may help to maintain bone density. In the study, men who consumed one to two alcoholic beverages daily had a greater hip bone mineral density (BMD) when compared to non-drinkers. For this particular study, most of the men selected beer as their alcoholic beverage of choice. Drinking more than two alcoholic beverages was associated with a significantly lower hip BMD.
Light to moderate consumption of beer (defined as no more than two 5% ABV servings per day for men) may have health benefits. However, heavy alcohol consumption is associated with many negative health outcomes including liver disease and cancer. Despite the touted health benefits of drinking beer, drinking alcohol is not appropriate for everyone. The good news? You can experience some of the same benefits of drinking beer by drinking non-alcoholic beer.
If you’re looking for more ways to improve your health, consider Opt Health. Our vitality doctors specialize in longevity medicine, which is the changing of behaviors to improve health outcomes. Our doctors will work one-on-one with you to assess your biomarkers and create a customized plan to maximize your lifespan and healthspan. We also work with patients struggling with ED, low testosterone, hair loss, and more. Contact us today for a free consultation.