Source: The Mercury, June 12, 1996, p.5

Good health! Brewers toast study on beer

PEOPLE who drink beer in
moderation live longer and are
less likely to have heart
problems, according to a
review of research on the links
between alcohol and health.

   There is a widespread view
that moderate consumption of
wine, not of beer, is good for
the heart. But the authors of
the review say they found
strong evidence that con-
sumption of any alcoholic
beverage was linked to a lower
risk of heart disease.

   The Australian Brewers'
Foundation medical research
advisory committee has
reviewed about 30 published
research papers from around
the world on the link between
alcohol and heart disease.

   "Beer can be regarded as the
drink of moderation be
cause it has half the alcohol
content of wine," the chairman
of the Brewers' Foundation
medical research advisory
committee, Professor Ross
Kalucy, said.

   "There is now an
overwhelming consensus of
medical opinion that moderate
alcohol intake is protective
against heart disease in both
men and women."

   Consumption of no more
than four glasses of beer a day
for men, and two for women, is
considered moderate.

   Professor Kalucy, professor
of psychiatry at Flinders
University, said it had been
shown that moderate drinkers
lived longer than people who
did not drink at all.

   Alcohol is known to boost a
substance in the blood, known
as higher density lipoprotein
which protects blood vessels
against clotting and the
buildup of plaque on artery
walls due to cholesterol.

   It was for this reason
moderate consumption of
alcohol was good for cardiac
health, he said.

   Brewers' Foundation
chairman Professor Kwong Lee
Dow said in a statement that
this did not mean, however
that abstainers should be
encouraged to take up

   "Health authorities and
educators need to acknowledge
the role of alcohol in our
society and develop policies
that minimise the potential
physical, social and
emotional harms that result
from its use," he said.


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