Beer May Actually Lead to Improved Health

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --For years, red wine has been lauded as the singular alcoholic beverage that can be beneficial to your health. In fact, scientists say that a glass of red wine with dinner each night can reduce your bad cholesterol, lower your risk of coronary heart disease, and reduce blood clotting, according to the Yale-New Haven Hospital website.

On the other hand, beer, a drink popular at house parties, ball games, and on summer evenings, has a stigma for making one fat, and contributing to a person's poor health.

People have been consuming beer for a large part of our collective history. In fact scholars have found circumstantial evidence that supports the theory humans were growing and storing grain for beer before cultivating it for bread, according to Jefferey Kahn, a clinical associate professor at New York Presbyterian Hospital, writing in the New York Times

Beer in the ancient world would have been vastly different from what we know today as "its alcohol content would have been sharply limited", the Times article said. 

Through the course of history beer has evolved into an alcoholic beverage used to unwind after a long day, and to bring friends together.

Beer is not likely going to be the first libation that comes to mind when a person wonders what beverage they should be drinking in order to contribute to their overall health.

As it turns out, drinking beer in moderation could be as beneficial to one's health as that nightly glass of red wine.

However, the Mayo Clinic website cautions that "alcohol use can be a slippery slope. Moderate drinking can offer some health benefits. But heavy drinking can have serious consequences." 

The following is a list of 8 reasons why beer drinking in moderation could be good for your health...

1. Prevents Heart Disease

Drinking alcohol in moderation can lower your risk of developing and dying from heart disease, the says.

Drinking in moderation means one drink per day for an adult woman of any age and men older than 65 years. For adult men age 65 and below that means two drinks per day, the added.  

2. Strengthens Bones

Beer has a high silicon content, which is a nutrient that helps to strengthen the bones, writes.

3. Cleans the Kidneys

Have you ever noticed that sudden urge to "go" right after drinking a beer? That reaction is due to the beer's diuretic properties.

Diuretics, also known as water pills, help your body get rid of salt. Diuretics work by making the kidneys put more sodium into your urine, also taking with it water from your blood. This decreases the amount of fluid moving through your blood vessels, and lowers the pressure on the walls of your arteries, the writes.

4. Fights Cancer

The hops most commonly used in brewing beer contains a flavonoid compound called xanthohumol, which has been used in the chemoprevention of cancers.

A study in the Molecular Cancer Therapeutics journal says xanthohumol has an "exceptional broad spectrum of inhibitory mechanisms at the initiation, promotion, and progression stage of carcinogenesis."

5. Beauty Benefits

Beer is high in Vitamin B. 

This antioxidant is said to aid in the maintenance of healthy skin and eyes, according to the

6. Improved Brain Power and Creativity

Guzzling down six or seven beers in one night probably won't lead you to make the smartest of decisions.

However, moderate beer drinking may increase your creativity. cites a study published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition that says when 40 men were given verbal puzzles, those that had a blood alcohol level of .075 solved the problems seconds faster than their sober counterparts.

7. Lowers Chances of Getting Diabetes

A study published on the American Diabetes Association website found that its research "suggests an ~30% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in moderate alcohol consumers, whereas no risk reduction is observed in consumers of ≥48 g/day."

8. Prevents Stroke

Alcohol consumption can be a tricky thing when it comes to your health. While too much can cause irreparable damage, alcohol in moderation can have its benefits.

The Mayo Clinic says that "drinking small to moderate amounts of alcohol may help prevent ischemic stroke and decrease your blood's clotting tendency." 

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