Een flesje bier per dag is gezond en zorgt er voor dat de vrije radicalen in je lichaam worden verwijderd. Te veel bier drinken geeft echter een tegenovergesteld effect.
Dat is de conclusie van een onderzoek aan de Universiteit van Ontario. Het onderzoek werd weliswaar betaald door de bierfabrikanten Guinness en Labatt, maar onder de conditie dat ze alles wat ze zouden vinden zouden mogen publiceren.
The researchers compared the effects of red wine, beer, stout (Guinness) and non-alcoholic stout, studying antioxidant levels in the blood of subjects at various intervals after consuming the drinks.
Previous research has found that moderate consumption of alcohol can be good for you because it increases levels of HDL, or good cholesterol.
But Trevithick’s study focused on the effect of polyphenols, natural plant substances also found in grapes.
“Polyphenols … have this antioxidant property which is similar to vitamin C or vitamin E in that they scavenge free radicals,” he said.
And since it seems to be the polyphenols and not the alcohol that does the good work, drinking light beer or even de-alcoholized beer also has health benefits, Trevithick said.
But again, moderation is the key. Drinking three bottles of de-alcoholized beer makes the blood “pro-oxidant” just like three bottles of regular beer — another surprising finding, he said.
“It could be that too much of the polyphenols may not be good for you,” Trevithick said.
He said light and non-alcoholic beer have lower levels of polyphenols than regular beer but would still offer most of the same benefits.
Robert Murray, a professor in the department of community health science at the University of Manitoba, said several studies have found a health protective effect from using alcohol.
“It’s actually hard to demonstrate differences between wine and beer and liquor,” Murray said. “They tend to operate in a similar way.”