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Health Report 3/13/13 The Health Benefits of Beer

March 13th, 2013

For many, it just wouldn't be Saint Patrick's Day without a pint.
In fact, 13 million pints of Guiness and countless cups of green beer are chugged around the world every March 17th. While we've heard all about the bad things beer can do to our bodies, in moderation, it could do some good too.

Voice of Eric, brew master,: "We brew bacon beer, Snicker's beer, S'mores beer."

Eric: "So beer's coming out of here at 180 degrees. It's like the best job ever."

His concoctions can intoxicate.

Eric: "This is an IPA."

And they could medicate.

Eric: "I thought beer makes you fat. You never hear the good stuff about it."


Sara Jo Nixon, Ph.D., professor & co-vice chair University of Florida, says: "Well, alcohol has been used as a medication for ever and ever."

Addiction expert Sara Jo Nixon says, like red wine, drinking beer can be good for your heart!

Dr. Nixon: "That's something that the beer industry has not really capitalized on."

An Italian study of more than 200 thousand people found those who drank a pint a day, had a 31 percent decrease in heart disease risk.  Beer can also raise HDL, the good cholesterol in your body.

A 2009 study found the high levels of silicon in beer can be good for bones! But too many could mean more fractures.

Dr. Nixon: "We also know that there's a line between too much alcohol being bad for bones."

Harvard studies found beer can prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke, and that a few beers a day lowered the risk of diabetes in middle-aged men by 25 percent.

Research in Europe found moderate beer drinkers had 30 percent higher levels of the disease-fighting vitamin B6, compared to non-drinkers.

Dr. Nixon: "But, you can't substitute a beer for your multivitamin."

Dr. Nixon says, moderation is key. It's recommended women have no more than one drink a day and men, no more than two, because the organ systems that benefit from a few beers...

Dr. Nixon: "Are the same organ systems that are comprised when you cross the line."
 
 
   
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