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The Health Benefits of Beer

Posted by Joan Salge Blake  March 15, 2013 01:44 PM

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Source: Nutrition and You

Move over red wine. The buzz on beer is that it can provide some nutrition as well as health benefits.  “While red wine enjoys a reputation for sophistication and health benefits, emerging research reveals that beer has unique nutritional and health benefits,” claims registered dietitian and an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) media spokesperson, Andrea Giancoli.

According to AND and the latest research, drinking beer in moderation, can possibly help:

Lower the risk of heart disease.  Beer, especially dark beer, pours up about a gram of soluble fiber in each 12-ounce bottle compared to none in wine.  Research suggests that consuming adequate amounts of soluble fiber-rich foods such as oats, barley, pears, and dried beans, as part of a healthy diet, can help lower the LDL “bad” blood cholesterol levels in the body.   Also, the hops and malt in beer provide polyphenols, which can act as heart-healthy antioxidants, among other things, in your body.  Lastly, any source of alcohol, whether it comes from wine, liquor, or beer increases the level of the HDL “good” cholesterol in your blood.

Lower the risk of kidney stones in men.   It appears that compounds in hops, by slowing the release of calcium from the bone, help limit kidney stone formation.

Build strong bones.  Beer is rich in silicon, an element which is linked to stronger bones.  Keep in mind that excessive alcohol consumption, no matter the source, can weaken your bones.

What’s moderation?  For men who choose to drink, moderation is considered up to 2 drinks daily, and for women, it’s up to one drink a day.  A drink is considered 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of liquor, or 12 ounces of beer.


                                                  Follow Joan on Twitter at:  joansalgeblake
Originally published on the blog Nutrition and You!.
This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, is a clinical associate professor and registered dietitian at Boston University in the Nutrition Program. Joan is the author of Nutrition &You, 2nd Edition, More »

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