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Health & Medicine One Pint of Beer Lowers Risk of Heart Disease: Study

One Pint of Beer Lowers Risk of Heart Disease: Study

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First Posted: Jul 04, 2013 05:20 AM EDT
Beer
When you think of beer, you don't necessarily think of your cognitive abilities improving. Yet scientists have found that xanthohumol, a type of flavonoid found in hops and beer, can actually improve cognitive function in young mice. (Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

Beer lovers rejoice as a new finding highlights the benefits of drinking a pint of beer a day. It seems not only does it give you a buzz but improves your heart's health.

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According to a latest finding published in the journal Nutrition, drinking one pint of beer a day improves blood flow and heart function.

Greek researchers have discovered that one pint of beer improves the flow of blood to the heart within a couple of hours as the arteries became more flexible. The same powerful effect was absent in alcohol free beer.

This new finding by researchers from Harokopio University, Athens, supports previous research that states moderate beer consumption lowers the risk of heart diseases. Studies conducted earlier have shown that a pint of beer a day lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 30 percent. But this is the first study that focuses on event of the cardiovascular systems followed by consumption of beer, reports Counsel &Heal.

It is also said that a nutrient present in beer known as Folate helps to protect against cancer and also prevents birth defects. It can stave off kidney stones, coronary artery diseases and gallstones. Women who consume moderate amounts of beer reported lower incidences of blood pressure, reports Fitday.  

To prove the hypothesis a randomized crossover study was conducted on 17 non smoking men who were in their late twenties and early thirties. After drinking two thirds of a pint (400 millimeters of beer) the researchers measured their cardiovascular health within two hours.

The same experiment was later repeated but with equivalent amount of vodka and alcohol free beer.

The participant's endothelial function was measured along with their aortic stiffness immediately after the consumption of the drinks. Endothelial function is the measure of how easily blood flows through arteries. With this test the researchers could determine whether beer consumption helped in relaxing the blood vessels or led to hardening of the blood vessels. It was only after beer consumption that there was significant improvement in Endothelial function.

They noticed that three drinks offered some benefit to the stiffness of artery but the best result was prominent in beer. They assumed that antioxidants combined with alcohol in beer helped in improving the heart function as well the blood flow.

"Beer acutely improves parameters of arterial function and structure, in healthy non-smokers. This benefit seems to be mediated by the additive or synergistic effects of alcohol and antioxidants and merits further investigation," researchers concluded

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