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Posted: Nov 25, 2015 at 6:58 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


By Onche Odeh

Scientists and Nutritionists have drawn an explicit link between beer consumption and heart disease, concluding that moderate consumption of the beverage is beneficial to cardiovascular health.

Biologist and Project Leader at the Institute for Food and Nutrition in The Netherlands, Dr. Henk Hendricks, who explained the ‘beer-heart health’ relationship at the Beer and Lifestyle symposium held on Tuesday in Lagos said available evidences substantiate the healthy relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and good cardiovascular health across all groups studied.

This buttresses a recent report by Mail online, the online version of UK’s Daily Mail about new researches that says Beer has overtaken red wine as the best daily habit to help avoid having a heart attack.

The secret, according to the report lies in the high levels of vitamin B6 found in beer. The vitamin, according to researchers from the TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute in Utrechtseweg, Holland, found that the vitamin prevented the build-up of homocysteine, an amino acid metabolite known to cause cardiovascular disease.

This, experts say could only be achieved through moderate consumption like drinking up to three quarters of a pint of beer a day, the equivalent of 40ml of alcohol, which according to the report increases B6 in blood plasma by 30 per cent.

Speaking in similar light, Hendricks said some of the inherent advantages of beer include the fact that it contains low percentage of alcohol, large quantities of water as well as its ability to rehydrate the body.

He also identify beer as a good source of minerals, polyphenolic antioxidants, just as it contains anti-inflammatory xanthohumol, a compound in hops that could protect the brain against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and rich in fibers.

“Moderate beer consumption is associated with a lower risk for metabolic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

“The beneficial effects of moderate beer consumption are mediated by improvements in lipid (cholesterol) metabolism, blood clotting and glucose metabolism,” he said.

Hendricks concluded that while risk reduction is an additive to other healthy life style factors like non-smoking, physical activity and a healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption fits in a healthy life style.

Professor Emevwo Biakolo of the Pan Atlantic University Lagos, who also spoke on the health benefits of beer stated that moderate intake in the elderly appears to be associated with significantly longer survival in men aged 60–74 years and in all elderly women.

He said “There is evidence that moderate alcohol consumption may be associated with better cognitive function in old age.“

Senior Strategy Manager, Nigerian Breweries, organizer of the symposium, Mr. Tony Agenmomen, stressed that overwhelming evidences have shown that moderate beer drinking can offer some health benefits, adding, however, that, “Even good things can become a stumbling block to us, if used without moderation.”

Advising on moderate beer drinking, Agenmomen listed spacing drinks, alternating alcoholic drinks with water, avoidance of drinking games, learning to refuse drinks and slow drinking as some strategies that could help.

Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries, Mr. Nicholaas Vervelde, said, “Beer, when consumed in moderation, can be a source of immense pleasure.”

“The knowledge about the benefits of moderate consumption of beer is multiplying every day with so many empirical research findings from all over the world,” he added.