SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • beer;
  • hops;
  • alcohol;
  • lifestyle-related diseases;
  • carcinogenesis;
  • osteoporosis;
  • oxidative stress;
  • isohumulones;
  • type-2 diabetes;
  • insulin resistance;
  • lipid metabolism;
  • atherosclerosis

Abstract

It has been demonstrated that the light-to-moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages is associated with significant reductions in all-cause and particularly cardiovascular mortality. While the inverse association between red-wine consumption and cardiovascular risk is globally recognized as the French paradox, many epidemiological studies have concluded that beer and red wine are equally beneficial. Moderate alcohol intake improves lipoprotein metabolism and lowers cardiovascular mortality risk. The question now is whether additional health benefits associated with the non-alcohol components in beer may be expected. This article summarizes the results of the latest studies on the health benefits of beer while referring to our recent results, which demonstrate the preventive effects of beer and its components on lifestyle-related diseases. A series of studies using animal models have shown that beer may prevent carcinogenesis and osteoporosis; beer provides plasma with significant protection from oxidative stress; and isohumulones, the bitter substances derived from hops, may prevent and improve obesity and type-2 diabetes, improve lipid metabolism, and suppress atherosclerosis. Further studies are needed to clarify the components in addition to isohumulones that are responsible for these beneficial effects of beer, and the underlying mechanisms must be addressed.