Page last updated: 11 January, 2011
Beer, Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular disease

A study by Ramon Estruch and colleagues from the Hospital of the University of Barcelona and the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, was presented at The College of Physicians of Palencia in November. The study, which involved 1,200 moderate drinkers of beer, found that people who regularly drank beer in moderation had a lower incidence of diabetes and hypertension, risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
“Moderate consumption is coded 1 or 2 beers for women and 2-3 for men, although the effects are opposed to health when consumption increases,“ explained Ramon Estruch, Consultant Internal Medicine Hospital Clinic of Barcelona.
Professor Jesús Román Martínez, president of the Scientific Committee of the Spanish Society of Dietetics and Food Science (Sedco), added that this is to inform the health sector that regular and moderate used of  beer  is a healthy option, although very few studies exist on its benefits “In the Spanish environment if you drink moderately and eat healthily it is shown that beer is not fattening and body mass index of these consumers is lower. It is also necessary that the intake of the drink is made with food”.
The study also highlighted that the organoleptic characteristics of beer and low alcohol content this drink may be included in the balanced diet of athletes in moderate amounts, to promote rapid and effective hydration and prevent muscle aches.
Another of the highlights of the study is that the folic acid content in beer is an essential vitamin for the nervous system and cell regeneration, which helps regulate homocisteín levels, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Even the moderate consumption of beer without alcohol may be included in the diet of people suffering from hypertension, since a daily bottle provides ten milligrams of calcium, potassium and little sodium.
Estrada stressed that moderate consumption of beer can have positive effects on the body, for healthy adults. In this sense, the study noted that beer is a drink made with one hundred percent natural products (water, barley and hops), has a low alcohol content and is one of the few beverages that contains vitamins and minerals naturally. For this reason the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition (SEDCA) included in the Healthy Food Pyramid optional and moderate consumption of beer among healthy adults, recalled the President of the Scientific Committee of the SEDCA, Jesus Roman. 


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