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Beer's Health Benefits: Studies

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Go ahead and enjoy a pint during 2011 Oktoberfest -- beer may be good for you.

    Kaboodle.com reports these five benefits of beer:

    1. Reduces heart disease risk

    Studies reveal that drinking beer in moderation reduces the risk of coronary heart disease because alcohol can increase good cholesterol levels.

    Alcohol also reduces the chances of hardening of the arteries and thickening of the blood, which both contribute to heart attacks.

    2. Contains vitamins

    A Dutch study conducted at the TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute shows that beer drinkers have higher levels of vitamin B6 in their blood compared with non-beer-drinkers.

    That’s twice the amount of red-wine drinkers.

    3. Prevents kidney stones

    Risk of kidney stones decreased in middle-aged, beer-drinking men, according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

    4. Helps women age better

    A Harvard study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows moderate alcohol consumption helps preserve the mental faculties of older women.

    Another Tufts University study shows that alcohol can help protect bone density, which is very important for females.

    And some bioflavonoids found in hops -- a major ingredient in beer -- may serve as natural hormone replacement therapy, specifically for post-menopausal women.

    5. Prevents cancer

    Beer may have cancer-fighting agents. Studies show that xanthohumol, a compound found in hops, may help inhibit certain enzymes that can trigger cancer and help break down carcinogens.

    Xanthohumol is being tested for possible preventative treatments for prostate and colon cancers.