Does beer have the same benefits as wine when it comes to heart health?

Though much attention has been paid to the health benefits of wine, beer has unique nutritional benefits for heart haelth. Beer, especially dark beer, pours up about a gram of soluble fiber in each 12-ounce bottle compared to none in wine.  Research suggests that consuming adequate amounts of soluble fiber-rich foods such as oats, barley, pears, and dried beans, as part of a healthy diet, can help lower the LDL “bad” blood cholesterol levels in the body.   Also, the hops and malt in beer provide polyphenols, which can act as heart-healthy antioxidants, among other things, in your body.  Lastly, any source of alcohol, whether it comes from wine, liquor, or beer increases the level of the HDL “good” cholesterol in your blood.
Although red wine typically gets the most attention among alcoholic beverages when it comes to heart health benefits, beer can also do a heart some good when consumed in moderate quantities. One in three adults has some form of heart disease, and what one consumes in food and drink can have a big impact on cardiovascular health.

Moderate consumption of beer can boost one’s HDL, or good cholesterol, and help to lower one’s LDL -- the more dangerous cholesterol component. Beer can also have a positive impact on blood clotting, helping to keep blood flow moving through blood vessels. Interestingly enough, beer consumption -- like other alcoholic drinks -- can reduce the incidence of gallstones, and lower the risk of diabetes type 2 in some patients. One unique health benefit attributed to beer hops is the reduction of kidney stones in men. Beer also contains silicone, which may help support bone mineral density. Beer also has small amounts of selenium and, depending on the color of the beer, contains small amounts of fiber (the darker the beer, the higher the fiber content).

It’s important to understand that most health experts recommend one 12-ounce beer per day for women and two for men when targeting “moderate consumption."

Continue Learning about Heart and Circulatory System

Heart and Circulatory System

Heart and Circulatory System

Your circulatory system is made up of your heart and three main types of blood vessels -- arteries, veins and capillaries. Your heart is at the center of the system, acting as a pump to distribute nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood t...

hrough your body; it then takes away carbon dioxide and other waste your body doesn't need. Signs of poor circulation include cold hands and feet, numbness, dizziness, migraines, varicose veins and pain in your feet or legs. Untreated, poor circulation can lead to stroke, high blood pressure, kidney damage and other diseases. Learn more about your heart and circulatory system with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.