Beer Heart: A Pint A Day Boosts Cardiovascular Health [STUDY]

By iScienceTimes Staff on July 4, 2013 12:26 PM EDT

beer pint
A daily pint of beer could be good for the heart, Greek researchers say in a new study into cardiovascular heath. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

A daily pint of beer could be good for your heart, new research shows.

Researchers at Harokopio University in Greece found that blood flow to the heart improved within a few hours of drinking a beer. What's more, they found that non-alcoholic beer didn't provide the same benefit.

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In the study, researchers selected 17 nonsmoking males in their 20s and 30s and measured their heart health one to two hours after drinking 400 ml of beer, or about two-thirds of a pint. 

The men were given the same heart tests after drinking the non-alcoholic beer, and also after drinking some vodka. 

What researchers were specifically testing for was "endothelial function," or how smoothly blood flows through major arteries. They were also looking at aortic stiffness and whether blood vessels hardened or relaxed as a result of the beer.

The study, published in Nutrition, found that the three drinks had beneficial effects on artery stiffness. The alcoholic beer, however, was the most beneficial. The researchers say the heart benefit may derive from beer's combination of alcohol and antioxidants.

The beer heart study is the most recent in a string of studies showing the benefits of moderate -- and only moderate -- alcohol consumption. In an Italian study from 2011, researchers found that moderate beer consumption could lower the risk of heart disease by 31 percent.  

So if you're drinking responsibly this Fourth of July--and if you live in North Dakota or New Hampshire, you most likely are in fact enjoying a beer--you may also be helping your cardiovascular health.

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