does you good. A large US health and lifestyle study of 14,000 female nurses reported in the Times suggests that a moderate alcohol intake can help middle-aged women enjoy better health and look forward to a longer life.
The good news is that two shots of spirits or three small glasses of wine improved the odds of successful ageing ie living to 70 and free of cancer, heart conditions, and other chronic diseases, by 28%.
They also found that moderate consumption had “profound positive effects” reducing insulin resistance, inflammation, and cholesterol.
Other researchers, whilst accepting the importance of this research, add a note of caution. These women may enjoy good health anyway, have good appetites and eat healthily, and have a good social life – all of which promote successful ageing.
I previously posted on booze and hangover cures and then found other information which supported the idea that booze isn’t all bad.
For example, scientists at Granada university in Spain reported that drinking beer rehydrated you better than water after exercise. They think the sugars, salts, and bubbles help the body absorb fluids quicker.
CAMRA believes that drinking beer in moderation also has benefits. Studies have shown that drinking 1 or 2 units a day can reduce the risk of heart disease, dementia, type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. This is partly because it contains easily absorbed anti-oxidants.
Beer’s ingredients of malted barley, hops and yeast are rich sources of vitamins and minerals – such as silicon which may lower the risk of osteoporosis. The Beer Academy says beer was once known as “liquid bread” which makes sense when you think that cereals are good for us so why not beer made from the same source? A pint of beer will supply 5% of your body’s daily protein needs and has no fat or cholesterol. It also has the same calories as wine and a lot less than milk or apple juice.
Beer is also low in sodium and high in potassium – two chemicals which will help control blood pressure. And alcohol in small amounts is believed to help protect against a whole range of diseases mentioned above. It also raises the levels of good cholesterol which reduces coronary heart disease.
And if you re now desperate to have a pint of this “health improving” drink, the best time to drink alcohol is at five in the afternoon. According to scientists at the University of Colorado that’s when our body’s tolerance to alcohol is at its highest.
However if you are pregnant, a child, or a driver -it’s best to avoid it all together.