Chill July/August 2011 : Page 64

BEER AS IF YOU NEEDED ANOTHER REASON TO CRACK A COLD ONE by Luke McKinney Health Benefi ts of OF COURSE BEER IS GOOD FOR YOU. Your body and brain both tell you that from the very fi rst mouthful, and to doubt your own senses you’d have to be some kind of paranoid lunatic. Bad news: “healthy-living” whiners have turned us all into paranoid lunatics. We’ve been betrayed by bacon, conned by candy, and now we believe that everything good is bad for us. Surely something as wonderful as beer cfian’t be trusted? R esearch has revealed that moderate drinking provides more medical benefi ts than marrying a doctor, and it’ll let you keep eating that bacon too. BEER PROVIDES A 30% INCREASE IN VITAMIN B6 INTO THE BLOOD PLASMA -ASKMEN.COM 1 DEFENDING AGAINST CARDIAC DISEASE If you believe the tut-tutters, “protecting your heart” means avoiding anything fun and eating blander food than a colourblind rabbit. If you believe real doctors, it means drinking a twelve-pack a week. Take a moment to think, we’d hate you to rush into such a diffi cult choice. Professor Ghali of the Calgary Institute for Population and Public Health reviewed 60 years of data on the cardiac effects of alcohol, and found men enjoying two drinks a day, and women enjoying one (because average body mass is still quite sexist), are around 20 percent less likely to develop heart disease. The professor concludes that doctors should concentrate “on how to integrate this evidence into clinical practice and public health messages.” In other words, he’s telling people to stop whining that beer is bad for you because that’s a lie. Alas, your GP’s waiting room is unlikely to start serving six packs, but just this once we think it’s okay to self-medicate. But be warned: beer only reduces your risk of physical heart problems. It has the opposite effect on the emotional kind. 64 > chill magazine

Health Benefits Of Beer

Luke Mckinney

As If You needed Another Reason To Crack A Cold One

OF COURSE BEER IS GOOD FOR YOU. Your body and brain both tell you that from the very first mouthful, and to doubt your own senses you'd have to be some kind of paranoid lunatic. Bad news: "healthy-living" whiners have turned us all into paranoid lunatics. We've been betrayed by bacon, conned by candy, and now we believe that everything good is bad for us. Surely something as wonderful as beer cwan't be trusted?

Research has revealed that moderate drinking provides more medical benefits than marrying a doctor, and it'll let you keep eating that bacon too.

1. DEFENDING AGAINST CARDIAC DISEASE

If you believe the tut-tutters, "protecting your heart" means avoiding anything fun and eating blander food than a colourblind rabbit. If you believe real doctors, it means drinking a twelve-pack a week. Take a moment to think, we'd hate you to rush into such a difficult choice. Professor Ghali of the Calgary Institute for Population and Public Health reviewed 60 years of data on the cardiac effects of alcohol, and found men enjoying two drinks a day, and women enjoying one (because average body mass is still quite sexist), are around 20 percent less likely to develop heart disease.

The professor concludes that doctors should concentrate "on how to integrate this evidence into clinical practice and public health messages." In other words, he's telling people to stop whining that beer is bad for you because that's a lie. Alas, your GP's waiting room is unlikely to start serving six packs, but just this once we think it's okay to self-medicate. But be warned: beer only reduces your risk of physical heart problems. It has the opposite effect on the emotional kind.

2. PREVENTING ALZHEIMER'S

If you think those who don't enjoy cold beer on a hot summer day are in the wrong, you're right. Studies of over 10,000 seniors found that those who still drink regularly had a lower chance of developing dementia.

In fact, beer - in moderation - can be so good for your mental health that researchers had to statistically account for the fact that drinkers on average had more friends, better education and less depression than non-drinkers. Friends help you stay sane, and beer helps you stay sane, and beer helps you to make friends, a deal so impossibly good you'd swear it was e-mailed by a Nigerian prince. If it was any more in favour of mental health it would blow up Arkham Asylum.

3. AVOIDING DIABETES

Michel Joosten of Wageningen University might just be the ultimate student: He earned his PhD not just while drinking beer, but by proving that was a good thing. A study of over thirty-five thousand people for a decade (meaning Michel's beer-health campaign involved more people and time than most military ones) demonstrated that moderate drinking reduces the risk of diabetes by about 40 percent. He also specifically showed that these benefits applied to completely healthy people, thereby proving that teetotallers would be in better shape if they'd have a beer.

He backed up his study with what must have been the most fun homework ever, commanding test subjects to drink (or not) for several weeks and detecting the same effects on diabetic risk factors. And by "diabetic risk factors" he means "genetic changes." Drink actively tinkers with your hormone levels, reduces inflammation factors in the blood, and even alters the gene expression of white blood cells (the body's bouncers) to get you in better shape. So the next time a a couple of cold beers improve your view of the world, remember that they're improving your ability to survive it too.

4. CHEMOPREVENTING CANCER

Headline-chasing health mongers have divided the world into "causes" or "fights" cancer, but don't worry: beer is on our side. A review by Dr. Gerhäuser of the German Cancer Research Center describes it as a cocktail of chemopreventative agents, which is a fantastic phrase to be able to throw around at the bar. It makes a six-pack sound like elite antiterrorism gear.

A joint study between Kirin Brewery and the Japanese National Cancer Center Research Institute found that rats fed on beer were significantly less vulnerable to cancer and had a much, much better life than most lab rats (we added that bit). The beer actually prevented DNA damage, which means that while it might make you lose memories, it's protecting the stuff that really makes you you. They found that water or a five percent ethanol solution didn't have the same benefits, so it's not just alcohol: it has to be beer. A sentiment we can all agree with. Apparently the glorious chemicals that give beer its fl avour want to keep you around longer to enjoy it!

Brilliantly, Dr Gerhäuser's conclusion stresses that "future studies should also focus on defined combinations to explore whether the mixture can be more efficacious than single components." Translated from super-science: "Don't get distracted by the individual chemicals - we have to keep studying beer!"

We recommend you help them this summer!

Read the full article at http://www.bluetoad.com/article/Health+Benefits+Of+Beer/763029/73267/article.html.

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