Moderate beer consumption may protect against heart diseases

beer glass

A glass of wine, especially red wine, is considered healthy, in moderation. A new study now shows that this also applies to beer.

The positive health effects of alcohol are most commonly associated with red wine, but studies show that this also applies to beer. Beer also has a positive effect on blood vessels and can therefore reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is, of course, a matter of moderate consumption, as the recently published 2021 overview study points out.

Beer protects against fat deposits in the vessels

In 2018, researchers found a preventative effect of moderate beer consumption on fat deposits on the artery walls. As an explanation, the researchers pointed to the beneficial effect of beer on HDL cholesterol, which can be derived from an increased cholesterol discharge from the cells. Other studies have referred to two protective components of beer, namely polyphenols and ethanol, which we know as alcohol. Both ingredients are attributed to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Alcohol in moderation makes blood vessels more elastic

In 2020, a meta-analysis was published that found that moderate alcohol consumption improves the elasticity of blood vessels. This was inferred from the measured vascular enlargement in the artery of the arm, increased blood flow and an improvement in blood lipid levels. The latter meant a significant increase in both HDL cholesterol levels and its main protein component in the blood serum, the apolipoprotein A1. This protein transports excess cholesterol to the liver and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Lower risk of death

The vast majority of studies show a link between beer consumption and a protective effect on cardiovascular disease. The reluctance to recommend beer in moderation was recently abandoned, certainly because the researchers found a link between alcohol and a reduced risk of death. In this review study, a daily consumption of one glass of beer (16 grams) for women and one to two glasses of beer (28 grams) for men is considered beneficial. And this is very similar to the advice for the consumption of wine.