Fresh insight on beer, cardiovascular health
Scientists have submitted that moderation level of beer consumption is beneficial to cardiovascular health . Dr. Henk Hendricks, a biologist and a project leader in the Institute for Food and Nutrition in The Netherlands, explained at a Beer and Lifestyle symposium in Lagos on Tuesday.
He explained that virtually all processes contributing to Cardio Vascular Diseases, CVD are beneficially affected. These effects, he said, substantiate the causal relation between moderate alcohol consumption and CVD. These effects, according to him, have been observed in all groups studied (young – old, men – women).
According to Hendricks, some of the inherent advantages of beer include: Low percentage of alcohol; large quantities of water; its role in rehydration; a good source of minerals; a good source of polyphenolic antioxidants; contains anti-inflammatory xanthohumoles; and a large variety of raw materials, including gluten-free’ Rich in fibers.
He averred that Beer contains low concentrations of alcohol and a large number of additional ingredients that are associated with health. These include, amongst others minerals, vitamins and polyphenols.
“Moderate beer/alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk for metabolic diseases, viz. cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
“The beneficial effects of moderate beer/alcohol consumption are mediated by improvements in lipid (cholesterol) metabolism, blood clotting and glucose metabolism,” he said. Hendricks concluded that while risk reduction is additive to other healthy life style factors like non-smoking, physical activity and a healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption fits in a healthy life style
Professor Emevwo Biakolo of the Pan Atlantic University Lagos, who s the Chairman of the conference, also submitted that moderate beer intake (as beer…) in the elderly appears to be associated with significantly longer survival in men aged 60–74 years and in all elderly women.
“There is evidence that moderate alcohol consumption may be associated with better cognitive function in old age, “ he said.
Also speaking at the occasion, Mr. Tony Agenmomen, Senior Strategy Manager, Nigerian Breweries explained that moderate beer drinking can offer some health benefits, adding that the evidence is overwhelming.” Even good things can become a stumbling block to us, if used without moderation,” he said adding that even good things can become a stumbling block to us, if used without moderation
He listed the strategies for moderate drinking to include: Spacing drinks; alternating alcoholic drinks with water; avoiding drinking games; learning to refuse drinks; and drinking slowly.
In his welcome address, the Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Mr. Nicholaas Vervelde explained that the company having been encouraged by the outstanding success of the 2014 symposium and the very enthusiastic response from the general public, it again decided to sponsor the 2015 edition. In addition, sponsoring this symposium, he disclosed, reinforced the commitment to improving the understanding of beer and its inherent benefits when consumed in moderation. “As I noted last year, beer when consumed in moderation, can be a source of immense pleasure. That is why I believe the theme for this year – Beer and Lifestyle is quite apt. Even though beer has been with us for thousands of years, the appreciation of its unique benefits are only beginning to grow. The knowledge about the benefits of moderate consumption of beer is multiplying every day with so many empirical research findings from all over the world,” he said.
He restated the company’s resolve to telling the rich and positive story of beer is tied with our strong commitment to the promotion of responsible consumption. “I call on all consumers to enjoy beer responsibly. As the Heineken Chairman and CEO said recently, ‘…it is important to make the point that misuse of alcohol is not cool”.