Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Beer: Moving On Up

I like beer . . . the wife likes wine.  The wife and other wine lovers regard beer and beer drinkers as something less than refined when compared to wine drinkers . . . that they are second class citizens.  Often the reasoning for this is because wine is good for one’s health when imbibed in moderation . . . it is good for one’s heart and health.  Beer, on the other hand, isn’t.  At least that is the line beer drinkers have listened to for many, many years.  I think that is the propaganda of the vineyard lobby . . . a sort of stomping out the competition.  Yet, the bottom line is that for a long time beer was the second fiddle to wine’s more illustrious place in the world of drinking.

Not anymore!

Beer is moving up!

According to an article on the “never can miss or be wrong” Internet . . . put out there by the reliable MSN website . . . beer—in moderate consumption—can be healthy for those who drink it.  Based on three medical research projects the writer of the article even suggests  that this information is grounds for switching up the nightly red-wine routine.  Yeah, I heard a few corks pop on that suggestion.  Yet, facts are facts . . . beer—when drank in moderation—can provide health benefits.

Beer can reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disease.  One of the greatest myths about drinking beer was that it killed off brain cells . . . well, it’s not true!  Now, if you drink too much beer, or any alcohol for that matter, it is a proven fact that you can become stupid . . . but that is not because your brain cells are dropping over dead . . . nah, they are just drunk.  But that is a post for another time.  Researchers at China’s Lanzhou University subjected rat brain cells to a host of stressors, mimicking the conditions thought to cause diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  What they discovered is that there is a potent antioxidant—Xanthohumol—that is found in the hops that make beer.  This antioxidant is found to protect brain cells from damage.  The conclusion?  Drink a beer a day and there is a five percent reduction in the risk of neurodegenerative disease.  I’ll buy it . . . the Chinese have never lied to us when it came to beer drinking.

Research shared in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (has to do with the study of kidneys and their function) over an eight year period shows that beer is more effective than coffee, tea, or orange juice at preventing kidney stones.  In fact, it slashes the risk of kidney stones by 41 percent!  Now, get this, wine was a distant second only reducing risk by 31 to 33 percent.  The researchers credited the beer’s diuretic effect for this particular benefit.  Now a logical person knows that beer makes you want to pee.  Peeing apparently has something to do with getting rid of all those chemicals that congregate in the kidneys to form kidney stones.  Thus, the more you pee the better for you.  Beer makes you pee.  Everyone knows that you don’t buy beer . . . you rent it.

Lastly, Harvard researchers pooled self-reported drinking data from more than 100,000 female nurses and found that women who drank beer two to four times weekly lowered the risk of rheumatoid arthritis by 31 percent.  They determined that it was the beer’s ability to suppress inflammatory proteins.  Hey, this comes from Harvard so it has to be true . . . drink beer and avoid arthritis . . . drink enough beer and you don’t care.  Yet, at the same time, this research concerned me . . . 100,000 nurses!  Makes you wonder about the state of health care.

Apparently the writer believes these health findings and benefits warrants a move up for beer in the world of “folk” and real health life styles . . . but not to the point of knocking wine off of it pedestal.  No, the anonymous writer only suggests that these findings open up the door for switching up the nightly wine consumption.  Instead of drinking wine all of the time . . . drink a beer every now and then.  Shoot!  If one is good for you, two should be even better . . . right?  Drink them both!  That is what I say!

Of course, the wife and my other whiners . . . I mean, winers . . . don’t agree.  They still point out that wine is the better of the two . . . has a lot more research to back them up . . . and, besides, wine doesn’t create the infamous “beer belly”.  When was the last time you ever saw a “wine belly”?  They rest their case.  The benefits of beer for health research is catching up . . . beer is moving up.  Someday beer will climb up onto that pedestal alongside wine . . . in the meantime, both sides disagree.  I can live with that . . . let’s disagree to disagree and go on.  I can drink to that . . . but a bunch of Chinese and Harvard researchers can’t be wrong!  It was on the Internet!  It has to be true!

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