A glass a day keeps the doctor away? Maybe not but in moderation there are benefits.
“Beer, if drank in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes health.”Thomas Jefferson
Studies have revealed that beer can produce the same benefits as drinking wine. Whether you prefer ales, lagers, stout, bitter or wheat beers, studies show that one drink a day for women or up to two drinks a day for men will reduce your chances of strokes, heart and vascular disease. It's no secret that the stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. and the leading cause of serious, long-term disabilities.
What's interesting is that it was proven (New England Journal of Medicine - Nov. 1999) that those who drank one beer a week compared to those who drank one beer a day experienced no variance in reducing stroke risks. It is said that light to moderate drinkers will decrease their chances of suffering a stroke by 20%.
A researcher at the Texas Southwestern Medical Center (May 1999) reported that those who consume moderate amounts of beer (one to two a day at the most) have a 30-40% lower rate of coronary heart disease compared to those who don't drink. Beer contains a similar amount of "˜polyphenols' (antioxidants) as red wine and 4-5 times as many polyphenols as white wine.
Alcohol has also been attributed of its ability to increase the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) into the bloodstream as well as help to decrease blood clots.
Beer also contains vitamin B6, which prevents the build-up of amino acid called homocysteine that has been linked to heart disease. Those of us who have high levels of homocysteine are usually more prone to an early onset of heart and vascular disease.
“Clearly, drinking alcohol has some benefits. But there also are some very real risks. If you choose to drink, be mindful about it and always drink in moderation.”
— Donald Hensrud, M.D., Preventive Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
Recently, consistent information has been provided in support of an association between light to moderate alcohol consumption and protection from vascular and all-cause mortality, ischemic stroke, peripheral arterial disease, congestive heart failure, and recurrence of ischemic events. After reviewing the information with respect to major aspects of cardiovascular pathophysiology, to potential confounders and to underlying mechanisms, several concepts emerge. First, the recommended amounts of “safe alcohol drinking” in healthy individuals are up to two standard drinks (~20 g/d) for a man and up to one drink (10 g/d) for a nonpregnant woman.
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