Beer Benefits Documented By Researchers

LONDON, ONT. | Monday, January 02, 2006

Beer drinkers can raise a glass to the news their beverage of choice contains the same health benefits as red wine, according to researchers at The University of Western Ontario. The researchers found one drink of beer or wine provides equivalent increases in plasma antioxidant activity which helps prevent the oxidization of blood plasma by toxic free radicals that trigger many aging diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and cataracts.

"We were very surprised one drink of beer or stout contributed an equal amount of antioxidant benefit as wine," said biochemistry and kinesology professor John Trevithick, one of the lead researchers, and an expert on the role of antioxidants in human health. "Especially since red wine contains about 20 times the amount of pholyphenols as beer." Polyphenols are the compounds in plants that help prevent UV damage from the sun and make the cell wall strong. They are believed to have antioxidant benefits when consumed by the human body. Even though red wine contains more polyphenols than beer, this study showed the body absorbs about equally effective amounts of bioactive molecules such as polyphenols from beer and wine.

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