Beer is a fermented beverage with a relatively low (or no) alcohol percentage, whose natural ingredients contain small amounts of valuable nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
The best way to look after your heart is to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle. For healthy adults, moderate beer consumption can be part of this balanced way of living.
Beer has been a staple part of European diets for thousands of years, and through the ages it has become deeply ingrained in our traditions and culture.
9th European Beer and Health Symposium
24th September 2019, Brussels
Do you want to find out and discuss the latest insights regarding the health effects of moderate alcohol/beer consumption? Registration for the 9th European Beer and Health Symposium is now open! The symposium will take place on Tuesday the 24th of September 2019 in the heart of Brussels.
Previous research found that moderate alcohol consumption can lead to an increase in food energy intake. But what about the intake of specific macronutrients such as carbs, fat and protein? A recent systematic review, published in Obesity Reviews, found that there seems to be a dose-dependent effect on macronutrient intake. The decrease in carbohydrate intake with heavier alcohol consumption was most consistent.
High alcohol consumption is associated with a higher risk to develop hypertension. But a recent meta-analysis, published in The Korean Association of Internal Medicine, finds that for Asian men an increased risk is already present when drinking less than two drinks a day compared to lifelong abstinence. For Western men a similar trend is seen, but the risk only increases significantly when drinking more than six glasses a day.
Heavy chronic alcohol consumption is a known risk factor for developing liver cirrhosis. According to the Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health from the WHO, about half of the liver cirrhosis burden of morbidity and mortality would disappear in a world without alcohol. But what about moderate alcohol consumption? A recently published meta-analysis in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that for women even one drink a day is associated with an increased risk to develop liver cirrhosis. The risk for men is less pronounced. Women may be at higher risk compared to men even with little alcohol consumption. More high-quality research is necessary to elucidate the role of other risk factors.
Alcohol consumption can increase the risk of certain cancer types, including cancers of the head and neck. A meta-analysis, published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, focussed solely on nasopharyngeal cancer and found that alcohol consumption is indeed associated with increased risk. However, it also found that consuming less than 7 drinks a week might decrease the risk. Nevertheless, these results should be handled very carefully, because many factors could have influenced this association.
Throughout history, there is a belief that alcohol consumption can reduce the emotional response in a stressful situation. But is that scientifically proven? A recent meta-analysis, published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, looked at more than 50 experiments and indeed found some evidence that alcohol reduces the emotional response to a stressor. However, many questions remain.
Today is World Diabetes Day; the moment to reflect on the evidence on how to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes with our diet. Many studies have looked at the role of diet on developing type 2 diabetes, but a lot of uncertainty remains. A recent umbrella review, published in the BMJ, collected all the meta-analyses on diet and diabetes, and estimated the quality of the evidence. They looked at many factors, but the evidence for a risk-reduction was only of high quality for whole grains, cereal fibre and moderate alcohol consumption. There is also high-quality evidence that consuming red meat, processed meat, bacon, and sugary drinks increases the risk.
Beer and Health Moderate Consumption as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle 5th Edition 2016 Click here to download the publication.
About Beer and Health
Beer and Health gathers and presents the latest scientific research on the link between moderate beer consumption and health. And it builds upon a long tradition of experts coming together at the European Beer and Health Symposium, which has been organised practically every two or three years since 1999.