The recent European Beer & Health Symposium in Brussels saw scientists presenting some of the latest research on the potential effects for health of moderate* beer consumption. The results confirmed that moderate beer consumption by healthy adults can be fully compatible with a balanced lifestyle.
The Chairman of the Symposium Dr Ramon Estruch said: “This Symposium is a critical milestone for scientific research on the health effects of moderate beer consumption by healthy adults. I am confident that the research presented and discussed today should make a constructive and fruitful contribution to the overall debate on the relationship between beer and health.”
The Symposium provides a platform for scientists that have researched, in their specialised field, the effects of moderate beer consumption on health, to present both their research and their perspectives on the relationship between moderate beer consumption and health. The Symposium was structured around three sessions.
Beer: What’s in it?
The first session “Beer: What’s in it?” focused on beer’s ingredients and the role they can play in an adult’s diet. In particular, it touched on the potential for gluten-free beer and the research being undertaken to assess the potential of certain ingredients as a means to improve the health benefits of beer.
Beer’s Place in the Diet
The second session “Beer’s Place in the Diet” looked at beer’s place in a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, a diet that is associated with decreased rates of obesity, hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The session also revealed, comparing calorie counts for different foods and drinks, that there is no scientific basis for beer causing abdominal obesity (the so-called “beer belly”) when it is consumed moderately.
Moderate consumption of beer and your health
The final session “Moderate consumption of beer and your health” presented scientific studies that looked in more detail at the current scientific consensus on beer’s protective effect for heart and respiratory tract health. Looking specifically at fermented beverages, including the effects of components in beer such as polyphenols, this protective effect from moderate beer consumption was also confirmed for patients who have previously suffered a heart attack.
The Symposium also presented the Young Scientist Award, received this year by Ilse C. Schrieks, whose winning scientific project looked at the link between moderate consumption and type 2 diabetes. This award was open for scientists under 35 and is designed to acknowledge research contributions that further the development and knowledge regarding the health effects of moderate consumption of beer and its role in an adult’s healthy lifestyle.
Please visit the Beer & Health website to view all the presentations from the Symposium including:
* Although drinking recommendations and definitions of “moderate drinking” vary from one country to another, scientific literature looking at overall all-cause mortality suggests that regular consumption of up to 2 glasses a day for men and up to 1 glass a day for women (i.e. avoiding excessive drinking) may have a protective effect on health. However, this statement may not be generalised to the overall population since some individuals with a specific genetic background already have a more favourable cardiovascular profile. Thus, it is always recommended to check with your General Practitioner for personal guidance on drinking.
About the European Beer and Health Symposium:
- The European Beer and Health Symposium is usually held in Brussels every second or third year, and focuses on the latest research on the relationship between moderate beer consumption and health. This year is the 7th edition of the Symposium.
- It provides a platform for scientists that have researched the effects of moderate beer consumption on health to present both their research and their perspectives on the relationship between moderate beer consumption and health.
- The Symposium was put together by a Scientific Committee of 6 independent scientists from 4 European countries, who set up the scientific programme, selected and invited the speakers, and reviewed the speakers’ abstracts. Logistical support to the 7th European Beer & Health Symposium has been provided by The Brewers of Europe.