Beer: The New Health Food???

Aloha Nurses!

I have been catching up on my reading – the professional kind – and have a question: What do you do when you hear a new report in the media about something being good (or bad) for health? Ok, I admit: sometimes I can’t help but roll my eyes. But, what do we tell our patients when they ask us for advice about these reports? They ask US because we are the professionals they trust the most and health choices are often complicated and confusing. What to say?

You know I am a big advocate of moderation so when I find research in support of that, I just have to share it with you.

Now, we all know the problems associated with excessive alcohol consumption: Physical, emotional, and economic harm. But did you know that, taken in MODERATION, beer is a Health Food? It’s true and supported by empirical research!

“A large evidence-based review on the effects of a moderate consumption of beer on human health has been conducted by an international panel of experts who reached a full consensus on the present document.
Low-moderate (up to 1 drink per day in women, up to 2 in men), non-bingeing beer consumption, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. This effect is similar to that of wine, at comparable alcohol amounts. Epidemiological studies suggest that moderate consumption of either beer or wine may confer greater cardiovascular protection than spirits. Although specific data on beer are not conclusive, observational studies seem to indicate that low-moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of developing neurodegenerative disease. There is no evidence that beer drinking is different from other types of alcoholic beverages in respect to risk for some cancers. Evidence consistently suggests a J-shaped relationship between alcohol consumption (including beer) and all-cause mortality, with lower risk for moderate alcohol consumers than for abstainers or heavy drinkers.” (Gaetano, 2016)

Other research has found that drinking one beer daily reduces the risk of kidney stones 20% in comparison to 8.9% reduction via increasing fluid consumption. (Ferraro, 2013)

So, I have found more empirical support for what my Nana knew from life experience! Moderation!

Aloha! And best regards,
Leslie

For more information, see:

De Gaetano, G, et al:
Effects of moderate beer consumption on health and disease: A consensus document.
Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2016 Jun;26(6):443-67. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2016.03.007. Epub 2016 Mar 31.

PM Ferraro, EN Taylor, G Gambaro 2013). Soda & other fluids & the risk of kidney stones- Clinical Journal of the Am Soc Nephrology 8 (8), 1389-1395, 2013