Health

Lager beer, whether it contains alcohol or not, could help men’s gut microbes

Illustration of bacteria in the human intestine. Credit: Darryl Leja National Human Genome Research Institute National Institutes of Health

Beer, like wine, can be beneficial for your health if you drink it in moderation. These non-alcoholic beers are becoming increasingly popular, but is this also good for your health? Researchers at ACS conducted a pilot study. Journal of Agricultural and Food ChemistryMen who drank one alcoholic and one non-alcoholic beer per day had a different microbiome than their pre-trial samples. This may help to reduce the risk of developing certain diseases.

Trillions upon trillions of microorganisms line the human gastrointestinal tracts, directly affecting their host’s health. Studies have shown that people who have more types of bacteria have a lower likelihood of developing chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Beer contains compounds such as polyphenols and microorganisms that were produced during fermentation. This could have an impact on the diversity of microbes within the human gut. A cross-over study that was published previously showed that both men and women ate non-alcoholic lager beer for 30 consecutive days. This increased their gut microbiome diversity. Many of these same people were also part of a second group that consumed an alcoholic beer. However, the effect was not the same. Few other clinical trials have tested this issue, so Ana Faria and colleagues wanted to see if they would find similar results with men in a different type of study—a parallel, randomized trial design—with two separate groups of participants.

In this double-blind experiment, 19 healthy men were randomly divided into 2 groups. Each group drank 11 ounces of either alcohol or non-alcoholic beer with dinner for 4 week. Researchers found that participants’ weight, body mass and serum markers for heart disease and metabolism did not change during the study. The researchers found that both groups had higher levels of fecal phosphatase and greater bacterial diversity at the end. This indicated an improvement in intestinal function. The results of this study could be different than those from the previous one due to the different design of the trials and the fact that the participants lived in different communities. The pilot study showed that drinking one beer per day, regardless of its alcohol level, may be beneficial for men’s gut microbiome. They also noted that non-alcoholic beer is a healthier choice because it contains no alcohol.


Increased availability of non-alcoholic beverages may decrease alcohol consumption


More information:
Effect of Beer and Nonalcoholic Beer Consumption upon the Gut Microbiota: Randomized, Double-Blinded, Controlled Trial Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2022). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.2c00587

Provided by
American Chemical Society


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Lager beer, regardless of whether it contains alcohol, could help men’s gut microbes (2022 and June 15).
Retrieved 5 July 2022
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