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Is Beer Heart-Healthy?

There has been a great deal of press surrounding the health benefits of wine, but this does not mean that other types of adult beverages may carry some health benefits, too. For example, a recent study showed that certain ingredients in beer may be beneficial to your heart, and offer certain advantages.

In this small study, 17 participants sampled beer, non-alcoholic beer and vodka. The samplings occurred on three separate instances, over the course of approximately one month. Researchers evaluated each participant with regard to the health of their arteries.

Results of the study showed that beer had some advantages when it came to the functioning of the blood vessels, with some participants showing 50% improved function over the course of the study. Nonalcoholic beer and vodka groups also showed some improvements, but the advantages were less than those shown in the beer group.

The finding suggest that there are certain ingredients in beer, particularly ethanol (found in all alcoholic beverages) and certain antioxidant ingredients that give it a healthy boost. With heart-healthy flavonoids in the sudsy beverage, having the occasional beer can be good for you. It helps to improve the flow of blood from the heart to the brain and other organs.

Researchers explain that there will continue to be a great debate about which is more healthy—beer or wine. Some studies have shown that the two beverages may provide equal benefits when enjoyed in moderation (translation—small amounts). 

Enjoying a glass of wine or one 12-ounce beer can provide plenty of health benefits. Just be sure that you don’t enjoy the adult beverages too close to your bedtime, because, although there are heart benefits, these are things that can interfere with healthy sleep patterns. Balance is the key when trying to get all of the benefits!


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