lager beer, gut microbes

Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic lager beer when drank in moderation can improve gut microbes in men ­– lessening the chances of developing chronic diseases

With the rise of non-alcoholic beers which have become more popular recently, researchers looked at whether these drinks are also healthful – finding that both alcoholic and the non-alcoholic beer drank in moderation can improve gut microbes.

Researchers demonstrated that compared to their pre-trial microbiome, men who drank either one alcoholic or non-alcoholic lager daily had a more diverse set of gut microbes, which can reduce the risk for some diseases.

Just like wine, beer can have health benefits when consumed in moderation

A previously published “cross-over” study showed that when both men and women consumed non-alcoholic lager beer for 30 days, their gut microbiome diversity increased. Many of those same people were also in a second group that drank an alcoholic version of the beer, and it didn’t have the same effect – so researchers tried something new.

19 healthy men were randomly divided into two groups who drank 11 fluid ounces of either alcoholic or non-alcoholic lager with dinner for 4 weeks, from this, the researchers found that the participants’ weight, body mass index and serum markers for heart health and metabolism didn’t change during the study.

However, when the 4-week period of the study came to an end, both groups demonstrated having greater bacterial diversity in their gut microbiome and higher levels of fecal alkaline phosphatase – which can indicate an improvement in intestinal health.

Greater bacterial diversity in gut microbiomes

The researchers suggest that these results, acquired from ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, could differ from those of the prior study because of the different designs of the trials and because the participants were living in different communities.

Trillions of microorganisms line human gastrointestinal tracts, directly impacting their host’s well-being, and studies have exposed that when more types of bacteria are present, people tend to have a lower chance of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Also, beer contains compounds, such as polyphenols, as well as microorganisms from its fermentation, that could impact the variety of microbes in the human gut.

Overall, the researchers suggest that consuming one bottle of beer, regardless of its alcohol content, may be beneficial to the gut microbiome and intestinal health of men.

However, it must be noted that the safest level of alcohol consumption is none, and alcohol use can generate numerous health issues and diseases, so non-alcoholic beer may be the more healthful choice.


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