B Is For Beer And Vitamin B

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This article was first published on Dictated News

Beer Drinker photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Beer Drinker photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Are you one of millions of Americans who likes to kick back and enjoy a beer after work? Guess what? Beer is good for you. Scientists have revealed that beer contains vitamins and minerals that can give you stronger bones, a healthier heart and more efficient kidneys.

• B Vitamins in Beer

Beer is made from brewer’s yeast, a single cell fungus called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Brewer’s yeast is a great source of B complex vitamins, including:

* Thiamine (B1): Thiamine is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and amino acids. Thiamine supports the proper functioning of the neural and cardiac systems. A chronic thiamine shortage causes the fatal disease beriberi.

* Riboflavin (B2): Riboflavin helps keep mucous membranes moist and pliable.

* Niacin (B5): Niacin is critical for the healthy cellular metabolism. Chronic niacin shortages can result in developing pellagra. You’ll find 1.828 milligrams of niacin in the typical 12-ounce stern of beer.

* Pantothenic acid (B6): Pantothenic acid is a key component in many enzymatic processes that regulate the body’s metabolism. A typical 12-ounce glass of brew contains an estimated 0.146 mg of pantothenic acid.

* Pyridoxine: Pyridoxine is a B vitamin that helps maintain proper functioning of the skin, the blood and the central nervous system.

• Flavonoids in Beer: Flavonoids are compounds found in plants that act as powerful antioxidants, protecting the body against free radicals. Free radicals are chemically unstable molecules that seek to stabilize themselves through the addition of extra electrons. Antioxidant substances donate that extra electron, thereby sparing body tissues from interactions with free radicals.

Beer actually contains more antioxidant flavonoids than green tea. However, beer also has more calories than green tea. The alcohol in beer can also have a toxic effect if overindulged in.

• Bone density: A study performed in 2010 showed that beer is high in the mineral silicon, which has been associated with healthy bones. The beers with the highest concentrations of silicon are pale ales.

• Cardiac health: Research has found that men and women who drink a pint of beer daily have a decreased risk of cardiac disease. That research was conducted at Italy’s Fondazion di Ricerca e Cura. Drinking more than this amount regularly, however, raises the risk of cardiac disease. Drinking beer appears to raise levels of HDL, high-density lipoproteins, also known as “good cholesterol.”

• Reducing the risk of kidney stones: Regular beer drinkers suffered 40 percent fewer kidney stones than non-beer drinkers. Researchers theorize this is because of the high water content in beer. It keeps the kidneys flushed.

• Type 2 diabetes: A 2011 study done by Harvard University suggests that drinking beer offers some protection against type 2 diabetes. Men who drink two beers a day find that their type 2 diabetes risk drops by 25 percent. Scientists theorize that alcohol stimulates insulin sensitivity.

A single 12-ounce serving of beer can provide you with many health benefits. However, it’s always important to remember to enjoy alcoholic beverages responsibly. Drink alcohol in moderation, and don’t drive while you’re under the influence.

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