It is consumed in all its forms, particularly during the summer: the beer can be white, brown, blonde, amber, and even without alcohol. But a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry focused specifically on lager beers, and showed that drinking one beer a day was beneficial to your health! More particularly, for the health of the intestines: the diversity of the microbiota intestinal would be improved thanks to beer.
A whole ecosystem in our digestive tract
It houses thousands of microorganisms : of the bacteriaof the yeastsof the mushrooms, sometimes also viruses that infect it. the gut microbiota plays an essential role in health, through its influence on digestion in particular, but also on the immune system and neurological. The greater its diversity, the better it gate : that’s why takingantibiotics deteriorates it, they kill a large part of the bacteria which inhabit and protect the intestinal flora. Food generally plays a vital role in health, in particular through what it contributes to the microbiota which draws on dietary fibre.
Beer, on the other hand, is made from cereals sprouted and cooked: these are called malts. Depending on the original grain used and the cooking method, the resulting beer will be different. Dark and amber beers, for example, come from roasted cereals. The malt is then mixed through various processes with hops and most importantly, water. One of the main manufacturing steps is the fermentation : yeasts are added to the malt-hops-water mixture, which will allow the transformation of sugars in gas and in alcohol. In 2019, researcher Eric Claassen from the University of Amsterdam claimed that certain strong beers improve the gut microbiota, by probiotics they contain, although their impact on the intestinal flora is still debated.
A lager a day, alcoholic or not, diversifies the intestinal microbiota
This time, researchers from the University of Lisbon decided to investigate the effects of lager beer on men’s health: for this, 22 healthy men consumed 33 cl of lager each evening for four weeks. ; for some of the non-alcoholic beer, for others beer with about 5% alcohol. As the study explains, “blood samples and materials faeces were collected before and after the intervention period,” which allowed the scientists to see the difference in microbiota between before and after the four weeks. This was also analyzed by ” sequencing genetics onrRNA 16S ”, which constitutes a kind of identity card for bacteria and therefore makes it possible to differentiate them.
The researchers thus measured a better microbiota diversity after four weeks, therefore a potential beneficial effect on health. They further found that drinking one beer a day, whether alcoholic or not, caused no increase in body weight and mass body fat, and did not significantly alter serum cardiometabolic biomarkers », Details the study.
She concludes on the positive effects of beer on health, which she attributes to polyphenols, nutrients from malt and hops and containing antioxidants. The study was only done on a small sample of men, so the team plans to do a similar study on a larger number of people that would also include women. Attention, the study emphasizes the fact that alcohol does not play on the beneficial effects for health: beers without alcohol are then preferable, and beers with alcohol, to be consumed in moderation!
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