Page last updated: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The Benefits of Moderate Beer ConsumptionThe Brewers of Europe 2002
This slim pamphlet slips down like a good pint of beer. It is a bright, well-designed booklet that is accessible and informative. Compiled by The Brewers of Europe, after seminar on consumption & health in 1999 & a further symposium in 2001, it summarises the current state of knowledge on the beneficial effects associated with moderate consumption of alcohol – particularly beer.

The symposium concluded that ‘beer played a part, along with other alcoholic drinks, in reducing the risk of heart disease’, and that there was ‘preliminary evidence of the benefits of beer consumption, which may be different from those of other drinks, which warranted more detailed investigation’. The pamphlet lists exciting new results and ideas from recent research.

The main points of the booklet include; moderate consumption of alcoholic drinks can be good for your heart (Interestingly, beer is just as good as wine at protecting the heart. ‘It is the alcohol that is having the protective effect and no individual type of drink can claim the monopoly.’ The American Heart Association has advised that ‘There is no

clear evidence that wine is more beneficial than other forms of alcoholic drink.’); the effect of lifestyle (‘When other factors such as lifestyle are taken into account moderate alcohol consumption alone has been shown to give a 17% reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease.’); other beneficial effects from moderate consumption of alcoholic drinks - reduced risk of Diabetes, gallstones, osteoporosis, stress, tension and senile dementia, also positive psychological benefits; beer can make a positive contribution to a healthy diet – it can provide essential vitamins and minerals, i.e. B12 (essential for vegetarians). Beer also contains natural antioxidants, beer contains more than twice as many antioxidants as white wine, although only half the amount in red wine. However, many of the antioxidants in red wine are large molecules and may be less readily absorbed by the body than the smaller molecules found in beer.’

Another surprising fact revealed in the booklet is that drinking beer in moderation does not make you fat ‘provided that is part of a balanced diet and consumed in moderation with meals.’

The booklet emphasises the importance of drinking in moderation. It is careful not to encourage alcohol misuse. Dr. Skovenberg, at the symposium on beer & health, defined moderation as: ‘To drink moderately is to drink within the limits set by your health, the society in which you live and your obligations towards your family and friends.’

A useful and refreshing guide on the benefits of moderate drinking.

For a copy, please contact The Brewers of Europe via email:
All text and images © 2003 Alcohol In Moderation.