Diabetics Raise Your Glasses: Cheers for Beer

Don't fear beer


Beer gets a bad rap. Deservedly so. Just look around at the number of people walking around with beer bellies and it’s easy to determine that too many people over indulge when it comes to beer. But beer, when consumed moderately, really isn’t an unhealthy beverage that should be avoided.  In fact, it may provide you with health benefits you never imagined. Hops, yeast, water and cereals, the primary ingredients found in beer are rich with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and new research about the much-maligned brew now suggest ales and lagers are loaded with potential health benefits.

Now, Diabetics Weekly isn’t advocating that you lean back into your lazy boy, turn on a sports event and kick back a six pack of beer during the game.  On the contrary, research suggests that men should consume no more than two 12-ounce glasses of 5% beer a day and women should drink no more than one.   Consuming even slightly towards excess can result in a slew of negative health consequences. Beer is 90 percent water and has a unique antioxidant blend, originating from the malt and hops.  Those grains are a rich source of vitamin B1, B3, B9, and B12 as well as minerals like potassium and magnesium and silicon, all which protect us from a variety of health problems.

So let’s raise our glasses and toast the five health benefits that are associated with drinking beer in moderation.

  1. Bone Health.

Dietary silicon, a staple in beer, is essential for the growth and development of bone and connective tissues. The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that noted that moderate drinkers were 38 percent less likely to have osteoporosis than non-drinkers while a  study published in Osteoporosis International pointed out that drinkers had a 20 percent lower risk of hip fractures than non-drinkers. Could it be that beer’s dietary silicon may be responsible for part of these bone-protecting effects?

2.Reduce Stroke Risk

Cheers.  Both the Harvard Medical School and the American Stroke Association have released studies that indicate that people who drink moderate amounts of beer cut their risk of stroke by up to a 50 percent, compared to non-drinkers. I’ll drink to that!

3.Protects Against Type 2 Diabetes.

Studies have linked responsible alcohol consumption with a 30 percent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes compared with heavy drinkers and people who don’t drink at all. Beer is a fine source of soluble fiber that helps diabetics to better control blood sugar.

  1. Fights Cancer

At the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society  in January 2016, scientists presented research that suggests that a key ingredient in beer could be used in the fight against cancer and inflammatory diseases. Humulones and lupulones are acids found hops and they possess the ability to stop bacteria growth and disease.

  1. Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s

A 1977 study suggested that beer drinkers aren’t the big dummies we thought they were. They are twenty-three percent less likely to develop cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. The silicon content of beer may be responsible protecting the brain from the harmful effects of aluminum that accumulates in the body.

So enjoy a brew. It’s good for you!

MJ Stone is a Montreal writer and artist. He has worked as a journalist for the Globe and Mail and CBC and his copy has also been featured in Hour Magazine, MacLean's and Parabola Magazine. In 2012 Stone wrapped up his first novel, The fool. He has been writing and editing health-related material at Download Apps since 2014.