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Beer & Health Symposium Assesses The Role For Moderate Beer Consumption In An Adult’s Healthy Lifestyle

At today’s 7th European Beer & Health Symposium in Brussels, scientists presented some of the latest research on the potential effects for health of moderate beer consumption[1], thereby confirming 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.

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.

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.

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.

The Chairman of the Symposium Dr Ramon Estruch said: “The abstracts submitted made it both a difficult choice for the Scientific Committee members to find a winner and illustrated the wealth and quality of beer and health research being conducted by Europe’s young scientists. We hope that this can be the start of something big amongst Europe’s up-and-coming scientific community.”

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