Close Menu

Beer a day could keep heart attacks at bay

A pint of beer a day could help protect against heart attacks, according to research by a group of Italian scientists.

According to scientists from the Mediterranean Neurological Institute, Pozzilli, drinking around 1.4 pints of beer a day could actually reduce the risk of heart diseases by around 25%.

Their findings followed a metareview of 150 studies, which suggested that up to two small 330ml cans of beer a day for men, and one for women, is unlikely to damage a person’s health or impact their chances of getting most cancers or dementia.

“Unless they are at high risk for alcohol-related cancers or alcohol dependency, there is no reason to discourage healthy adults who are already regular light or moderate beer consumers from continuing,” the researchers wrote.

However researchers did stress that health benefits are only possible with moderate drinking, and that excessive drinking, and binge drinking, is known to harm the body. The study suggests that men could drink just over seven pints of beer a week and women 3.5 without any adverse effects.

Speaking to Italian health website ItaliaSalute, Dr Simona Costanzo, of the IRCCS Mediterranean Neurological Institute, said: “Instead a moderate and regular consumption of beer, placed in the context of a healthy diet, with a healthy lifestyle also involving physical activity, appears to have no detrimental effects, and indeed demonstrated its ability to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

The study follows renewed advice by the UK’s chief medical officer earlier this year which saw the recommended weekly allowance for men drop by seven units to the same level as women at 14, which equates to six pints of average strength beer or seven glasses of wine a week.

Previous NHS guidance, published in 1995, advised that men should not drink no more than three to four units a day – up to 21 units or less a week – while women should not drink more than two to three units a day, or up to 14 units a week. 

Led by England’s chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies, the report claimed that any amount of drinking increases the risk of a range of cancers and that there is “no safe level” of drinking for women who are pregnant, reducing previous guidance for pregnant women from no more than one or two units of alcohol once or twice a week.

The drinks trade, who were not consulted on the changes, said renewed guidance put the UK “out of step” with comparable countries including the US, which advises no more than 24.5, France 26, Italy 31.5 and Spain 35 units a week.

The new study by Pozzilli was published in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No