Porto reseachers have good news for beer drinkers, they concluded that “drinking beer is good for the intestinal microbiota”, associated with the prevention of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
In a statement, Center for Research in Health Technologies and Services (CINTESIS) reveals that the study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and which also involved researchers from NOVA Medical School – Faculty of Medical Sciences, concluded that “drinking beer is good for the intestinal microbiota”.
“Beer consumption contributes to improving the composition of the intestinal microbiota, a factor that has been associated with the prevention of very common chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases”, stresses the center.
In the course of the investigation, the team recruited healthy men, between the ages of 23 and 58, to participate in a four-week trial that consisted of drinking 330ml of beer daily, with or without alcohol.
The results proved that the consumption of beer, a beverage that results from the fermentation of cereals, “increases the diversity of the intestinal microbiota, without increasing weight and fat mass”.
At the same time, the researchers concluded that drinking this beverage “does not significantly interfere with cardiometabolic biomarkers” such as glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides.
“Interestingly, alkaline phosphatase, an important biomarker of liver, kidney and bone damage, decreased during the course of the trial”, notes CINTESIS, adding that the benefit of beer on gut health “proved to be independent of alcohol content”, in other words, occurs whether the beer has alcohol or not.
The researchers believe that the beneficial effect of beer may be linked to the polyphenols present in the drink, similar to what happens with red wine.
Cited in the statement, the researchers stress that the study “demonstrates that this type of polyphenol-rich drinks, in this case beer, is an interesting approach to increase the diversity of the intestinal microbiota”.
The study, which was led by researchers Ana Faria and Conceição Calhau, also had the participation of other CINTESIS specialists.