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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

Is beer good for health?


Beer is one of the world’s oldest and most loved drinks. Many people drink beer for its taste, variety, and social benefits. But does beer have any health benefits? The answer is not so simple. Beer has both positive and negative effects on your health, depending on how much and how often you drink it. Here are some of the main points to consider:


How beer can help your health

  • Beer can protect your heart. Some studies have shown that drinking one or two beers a day can help prevent damage and inflammation in your heart. This is because beer has natural substances called phenols, which can reduce harmful stress in your body. Beer can also improve the way your good cholesterol (HDL) works, which helps remove bad cholesterol (LDL) from your blood vessels.

  • Beer can control your blood sugar. Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, a condition where your body cannot use insulin well. One study showed that drinking one or two alcoholic drinks a day could lower the chance of getting diabetes by up to 50%. However, this effect may depend on the kind of beer you drink, as some beers have more sugar than others. Light beers, for example, have less sugar and calories than regular beers.

  • Beer can provide some nutrients. Beer is made from grains and yeast, which means it has some B vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, niacin, folate, and selenium. These nutrients are important for various functions in your body, such as making energy, sending signals to your nerves, keeping your bones healthy, and supporting your immune system. However, beer is not a good source of these nutrients compared with whole foods like fruits and vegetables. You would need to drink a lot of beer to meet your daily needs, which would cancel out any benefits.


How beer can harm your health

  • Beer can make you gain weight and belly fat. Beer is high in calories and carbohydrates, which can make you gain weight if you drink too much or too often. Extra calories are stored as fat in your body, especially around your belly. This can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.

  • Beer can damage your liver and other organs. Drinking too much alcohol can hurt your liver, which is responsible for breaking down and getting rid of toxins from your body. Alcohol can cause swelling, scarring, and cirrhosis of the liver, which can lead to liver failure and death. Alcohol can also affect other organs, such as your brain, heart, pancreas, kidneys, and stomach. It can affect your memory, judgment, coordination, blood pressure, digestion, and kidney function.

  • Beer can increase your risk of addiction and mental health problems. Alcohol is a substance that affects your mood and behavior. It can make you feel relaxed, happy, confident, or energetic at first, but it can also cause negative emotions like anxiety, depression, anger, or aggression later on. Alcohol can also disturb your sleep quality and cycle. Drinking too much or too often can lead to alcohol dependence or addiction, which means you cannot control or stop your drinking even if it causes problems in your life. Alcohol addiction can affect your physical health, mental health, relationships, work performance, and finances.


How much beer is safe to drink?

The amount of beer that is safe to drink depends on several factors, such as your age; gender; weight; health status; medication use; and drinking habits. However; as a general guideline; most health authorities recommend limiting your alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. One drink is equal to 355 mL of regular beer or 237–266 mL of malt liquor.


Drinking more than these amounts can increase your risk of health problems and accidents. You should also avoid drinking alcohol if you are pregnant or breastfeeding; under the age of 21; have a history of alcohol abuse or addiction; have liver disease or other medical conditions; take medications that interact with alcohol; or plan to drive or operate machinery.


Summary

Beer is a popular drink that has both benefits and risks for your health. Drinking moderate amounts of beer may lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes; provide some vitamins and minerals; and enhance your social life. However; drinking too much or too often can cause weight gain; liver damage; addiction; mental health problems; and other issues. To enjoy beer safely and responsibly; you should limit your intake; choose low-sugar beers; drink water between beers; eat before or while drinking; avoid mixing alcohol with other drugs; and never drink and drive. Cheers! 🍻


Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist


Kify Hospital

Danavaipeta

Rajahmundry

Phone : 85000 23456

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