Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Say Cheers!

men with beerInflaming wine, pernicious to mankind, unnerves the limbs, and dulls the noble mind

Homer wrote in Illiad in 850 BC

Beer or wine—difficult to decide, isn’t it? Beer—the beloved beverage of men is often downed with a twinge of guilt, as wine has a repute of being more heart friendly. Keep reading to dispel myths and unravel facts.

Do it like the French

In the year 1819 Irish physician Dr. Samuel Black noticed for the first time French paradox, which soared the popularity of red wine. Apparently French have a low risk of coronary heart disease irrespective of their love for cheese. However, red wine is not the magic bullet for disease prevention. Agreed, red wine does have antioxidants, but not in abundance and they are not well absorbed either. If you want to have a generous dose of antioxidants forget the swig of red wine and polish off spinach salad with vegetables. Our heart will be as healthy as our lifestyle.

Case for beer

Besides being cheaper than the wine, beer is the beverage that boys yearn for after a hard day at work. Other than beer belly, the drink bestows following health benefits–
• The folate found in beer may help to reduce homocysteine in the blood and lower homocysteine levels mean a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
• Lab studies have found constituents in beer that lower triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol in mice.
• Beer contains a similar amount of µ polyphenols (antioxidants) as red wine and 4-5 times as many polyphenols as white wine.
• Beer also contains vitamin B6, which prevents the build-up of amino acid called homocysteine that has been linked to heart disease.
• Ask any man and he will vouch for the relaxing effect of the beer.
• Drinking one beer per day reduces blood clotting so some studies found that cardiovascular patients who drank one beer per day also lived longer.

Less is more

Generally, men mistakenly believe that if one drink does good, more drinks will be better, which is not the case. Moderation is the key word while having beer, wine or alcohol.

One drink
• 5 ounces of wine (147 ml)
• 12 ounces of beer (355 ml)
• 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits, such as vodka (45 ml)
• People with liver, pancreatic disease or any chronic debilitating diseases should seek opinion from their physician before having any alcoholic drink.
• People with gout should avoid beer. As alcohol may trigger acute pain in gouty joints.
• Diabetics—talk to your doctor.
• People taking any psychiatric medication or drugs like metronidazole should not take alcohol along with medication without permission of physician.

Dr. H K Chopra, Senior Cardiologist, Moolchand Heart Hospital

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Category: Men
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