Great news for all beer drinkers: As discovered by researchers, the hops in beer reduces the harmful effects of alcohol on the liver.
Consuming too much alcohol can lead to fatty liver disease, liver damage, and cirrhosis. Most doctors recommend, for women, no more than one drink a day and two for men.
All alcoholic beverages are not created equal when it comes to liver health found researchers from Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany.
In their experiment mice were divided into three groups. One got a regular beer. A second group received a beer specially brewed with no hops. The third got plain alcohol.
A binge drinking model was given to all the mice what is equal to fast drinking of four drinks in a row.
After twelve hours scientists tested the animals’ livers. The livers of the mice who drank regular beer had significantly less buildup of damaging fat than the mice given beer without hops or plain alcohol. Both of the latter two groups had about the same unhealthy level of fat accumulation.
The researchers recently published their findings in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism. Their conclusion is that hops in beer are responsible for the smaller damaging effects of beer on the liver opposite of drinking other alcoholic beverages.
The researchers also found evidence that formation of compounds called reactive oxygen species is inhibited by hops. These compounds are particularly damaging to liver cells.
Hops are the flowers of herb that are added to beer for flavor and can also act as a natural preservative.
6 More Health Benefits of Beer
The new study is only the latest to show health benefits from moderate beer drinking:
- Stroke prevention. – people who have up to 14 drinks a week have fewer strokes than nondrinkers.
- Cataract prevention. – a daily beer (especially a stout or lager) increases antioxidant activity that can stop cataracts.
- Lower heart disease risk. Italian researchers found that a 42% lower risk of cardiovascular disease had moderate beer drinkers.
- Faster workout recovery. A cold beer after exercise helps athletes recover quicker, according to a Spanish study.
- Fewer kidney stones. Lower risk of kidney stones by 40%, have people who regularly drink beer, found researchers in Finland.
- Metabolic improvement. A study from Oregon State University found that hops contain the natural flavonoid xanthohumol. It reduces weight gain and controls blood sugar.
If you enjoy drinking a cold brew, try to find an organic variety. Conventional beers can be full of nasty artificial ingredients.