Organising Committee8th European Beer and Health Symposium
The Organising Committee is responsible for setting the direction and putting together the programme of the 8th European Beer and Health Symposium. The Organising Committee identifies the most interesting topics to be featured and to be discussed at the Symposium, selects the most interesting recent research on the matters and invites the speakers. It is assisted by the Secretariat of the Beer and Health Initiative (www.beerandhealth.eu).
Dr Corina-Aurelia Zugravu
Our life as modern men and women stresses the importance of a healthy diet for a healthy life. My interest is mainly the researchconcerning widely consumed foods, because we have to “make the healthy choice, the easy “one. I strongly believe that among popular foods and drinks there are products with an excellent nutritional profile and that promoting their intake, over niche, unaffordable products, can give good results in the management of noncommunicable diseases. Beer is one of these products, widely consumed and gathering a huge number of science studies regarding its prophylactic or nutritional effects. I think that the critical evaluation of such studies and of the promotion of moderate consumption of beer, as a component of a healthy lifestyle, represent a challenge for a nutritional professional and I am happy to participate to such an undertaking.
There are many myths about the health effects of moderate beer consumption, but research is improving our understanding of its true effects. As a scientist I have conducted studies that have contributed evidence-based knowledge about beer and body weight regulation. Personally, I see it as a challenge to facilitate balanced and scientifically well founded information to health professionals and the public. Accumulating scientific research suggests that regular consumption of beer can have a protective effect on health, and that there is little, if any, difference between the consequences for health of beer and wine. Balanced information should enable people to make sensible choices about moderate beer drinking as part of a healthy lifestyle,enhancing cuisine and a good quality of life.
Our research group at the Hospital Clinic-University of Barcelona has been working in the last 30 years on the toxic and beneficial effects of alcohol consumption on atherosclerosis and cardiovascular system. In the first studies we observed that the toxic effects are dose-dependent and subjects have to drink more than 20 kg of ethanol by kg of body weight. However, we have also observed that moderate consumption of fermented alcoholic beverages, such as beer, improve classical and novel risk factors related to atherosclerosis, including a reduction of serum inflammatory markers, ex-vivo adhesion of human monocytes on an endothelial line and oxidative stress parameters. In addition, in the PREDIMED (Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea) trial that included 7,447 subjects at high risk for cardiovascular disease who were followed-up near of 5 years, we have observed than beer drinkers in Spain had healthier dietary habits than subjects who do not drink alcohol. Thus, we think that it is important to communicate to the society that beer in moderation may be an important component of a healthy diet, such as Mediterranean dietary pattern.
emeritus Frans J. Kok
Over centuries beer is enjoyed by many people all over the globe. A prerequisite in drinking beer is consumption in moderation and abstainment under specific circumstances.
The constituent alcohol behaves like a double sword, associated with health benefits but also risks.
We need to keep in mind that although responsible drinking may be beneficial against chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes , you don’t need to start drinking for your health. There are others ways to keep your body fit.
The beer-health initiative is important because it may help health professionals and individual consumers to find the right balance in enjoying drinking. This guidance is not only useful for healthy individuals but also for those with a chronic disorder who like to know whether a drink would fit in their lifestyle.
As the chairman of the board of the Dutch Beer Institute, I feel it as a responsibility to provide the facts about sensible beer drinking to those who like to be informed about the current state of knowledge.