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Friday, December 01, 2023

There are 99 bottles of beer on the wall, and new studies are suggesting we should take them down, pass them around and drink to benefit our health.

Beer may offer various health benefits, including lowering the risk of kidney stones, providing micronutrients and aiding in the absorption of heart-healthy antioxidants, according to a study in the Winter 2011 edition of the American Dietetic Association Times.

Dr. Anne Mathews, research assistant scientist in the department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at UF, said research on beer shows that its health benefits may be similar to wine’s.

Studies have shown that although wine is higher in polyphenols, antioxidants that prevent cancer and damaged cells by destroying oxidized molecules, more polyphenols are absorbed from drinking beer, Mathews said. Moreover, the barley and hops used to make beer contain micronutrients that may make it a healthier option compared to wine.

Lindsey Heller, a 21-year-old senior at UF, said she chooses not to drink beer even though she is educated on its health benefits through personal research.

“I could eat a head of broccoli if I really wanted health benefits,” Heller said. “I’d rather drink something that I enjoy.”

Mathews said the most important thing to remember is that while beer and wine offer health benefits, the American Heart Association does not recommend adding a drink a day to a person’s diet.

“I don’t know for sure that there is a clear better choice between wine or beer,” Mathews said, “but health benefits of alcohol are no excuse to start drinking more.”   

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