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Eight Healthy Reasons To Drink Beer

Looking for a good reason to enjoy a craft beer? Check out this great article from Forbes on Eight Healthy Reasons to Drink Beer.

Heart Health

A vast number of studies show that moderate consumption of alcohol, including beer, may reduce the risk of heart disease–consistently the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. A 2006 study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Harvard School of Public Health found that, among men with healthy lifestyles, those who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol had a 40 to 60% reduced risk of heart attack compared with heart healthy men who abstained.

Cognitive Function

Is beer good for your brain? Research suggests the answer is yes. A 2006 report published in a journal of the American Heart Association showed that moderate drinking may be associated with better cognitive function in women. Likewise, a 2003 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association said that adults over 65 who consume between one and six alcoholic beverages each week have a lower risk of dementia than non-drinkers and heavier drinkers.

Stroke

Beyond helping you get heart healthy, moderate drinking also may help prevent the formation of blood clots that can block arteries in the heart, neck and brain, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Those blockages are a cause of the most common kind of stroke, ischemic stroke.

Bones

Studies have shown that beer may play a role in preventing bone loss and rebuilding bone mass in men and young women–post menopausal women have not been seen to benefit. The effect is believed to be tied to the beverage’s high silicon content. Excessive drinking, however, can lead to a greater number of bone fractures.

Staying Alive

A review of 50 studies has shown there’s an inverse association between moderate drinking and total mortality under all scenarios for middle-aged and older adults, according to a 2005 report from the United States Department of Agriculture. The lowest risk of death appears to occur when people consume one to two drinks per day, likely a result of the protective effects against coronary heart disease and stroke.

Feeling Healthier

People who drink beer, spirits or wine tend to report fewer instances of ill health than those who abstain, according to a 2001 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The higher the consumption of total alcohol, researchers found, the lower the levels of subjective poor health.

Diabetes

Studies have shown that people with diabetes who drink moderately may be able to reduce their risk of coronary heart disease, their biggest killer. Research also indicates that a light drinking habit may help protect men and women from developing Type 2 diabetes. This may be a result of increased insulin sensitivity or anti-inflammatory effects.

Hypertension

Hypertension, which affects about 65 million people in the United States, is linked with an increased risk in heart disease and death. But a 2007 study by Dutch researchers and researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found a link between hypertensive men drinking moderate amounts of alcohol and a lower risk of fatal and non-fatal heart attacks.