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18 Nov 2008


Health & Consumers

Press Release Embargoed 4 November 2008


A growing body of scientific research supports the view that moderate beer consumption can be part of an adult’s

healthy lifestyle. This is the conclusion of a new report published today on The Effects of Moderate Beer


The latest research is also the subject of a major European medical conference in Madrid today (4 November).

The 5th European Beer & Health Symposium sees leading medical and scientific experts from around Europe meeting to

share the latest scientific evidence on the role that responsible beer drinking can play in a healthy diet and

The report, The Effects of Moderate Beer Consumption, is a digest of current scientific literature (142 scientific

references) published. The report demonstrates a significant increase in the body of knowledge on the subject, and

reinforces the view that drinking beer in moderation can be good for your health.

Recent research cited in the report includes:

A recent statistical analysis (meta-analysis) of 34 studies from all over the world showing that consumption of

beer (up to four drinks (40g) per day in men and two (20g) in women) leads to a reduction of premature mortality

of up to 18% compared with abstainers and heavy drinkers. At moderate levels of consumption, in all places and in

both men and women, the risk of early death is reduced relative to the risk in abstainers and heavy drinkers.

The conclusion from this meta-analysis was that “people who already regularly consume low to moderate amounts

of alcohol should be encouraged to continue”.

Growing evidence that, besides reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, moderate beer consumption may reduce

the risk of many other conditions, for example diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis and dementia. As with heart disease,

moderate consumption seems to be protective whereas heavy consumption is harmful.

Studies showing that light to moderate beer consumption has a positive effect on bones (makes them stronger and

reduces risk of osteoporosis). There is mounting evidence to show that the silicon content in beer may explain

these findings.

More and more evidence suggesting that moderate beer drinking cannot be blamed for making you fat. Several new

studies confirm that factors such as heavy consumption, some drinking patterns or unhealthy foods consumed

particularly with beer are associated with weight gain but moderate consumption is not.

Of course, it must be stressed that the health risks associated with excessive or inappropriate consumption are

well established. There are also some situations when even moderate consumption may be too much

(e.g. during pregnancy, before driving or when taking certain medication). Furthermore, what is true for the

population may not be true for a particular individual so, for personal, individually-tailored advice, the best

course of action is to consult a doctor.

Said Rodolphe de Looz-Corswarem, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe: “There is an old saying,

‘everything in moderation’, and that is no less true of beer. When the brewing sector says that moderate

consumption of beer can be part of an adult’s healthy diet and lifestyle, this is not an The Brewers of Europe

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