Beer is one of the most popular and fashionable drinks which contains a great amount of natural elements. Millions of people like beer, thousands of those drink it almost every day, and hundreds of those are sure that they are doing right! They are convinced that beer has a lot of minerals and vitamins, which are, undoubtedly, very useful for our body and can promote healthy life. Is it possible to call beer “a natural remedy”? I say, no! No way! Never! See the myths and facts about beer – and be the judge.
MYTH 1. Beer is a useful natural drink. Some people are sure that beer is a very useful drink, which must be added to our daily diet. Certainly, there is alcohol in beer, but it is used in small concentrations and, if consumed in reasonable doses, can be even necessary for everyone.
TRUTH. In real, beer must be considered more harmful than wine or vodka, because it contains a lot of harmful and dangerous composites that appeared as a result of fermentation. These poisonous composites (usually the wastes of fermentation) include aldehydes, fusel oils, methanol, ethers and so on. Besides, the content of alcohol in beer is not always low and sometimes there can be up to 14% of alcohol. Also, beer alcoholism is very fast to be developed.
MYTH 2. There is no such thing as beer alcoholism. There are millions of people who drink beer every day and do not develop any sort of alcoholism.
TRUTH. Beer alcoholism is a hard psychological disorder, which is frequently accompanied with anosognosia, or denial of own dependence and the absence of a drive to get rid of this bad habit. Usually, it does not take a lot of time for developing a psychological dependence on drinking beer. This addiction is also boosted by availability of this drink, as well as by the absence of ethical limitations for drinking beer (people drink beer practically everywhere and at any time).
MYTH 3. Beer is useful from social point of view, because it helps people switch from drinking vodka, whisky or other alcoholic drinks. For many people, beer can substitute heavy alcoholic drinks and this way it fulfills an important social function.
TRUTH. From this perspective, beer contributes greatly to our self-deceit. If you drink 3-4 bottles of beer a day, you receive the same dose of alcohol as you could receive after drinking a bottle of vodka. However, you are psychologically protected, because the one who drinks a bottle of vodka per day is an alcoholic person, but the one who drinks 2-3 liters of beer a day is a normal guy! For example, in the nineteenth century the British government decided to fight against increasing alcoholism not by launching new alcoholism programs, but by stimulating beer consumption, however, this law was abolished very soon since alcoholism went on blossoming.
МYTH 4. Beer is useful for our brains. Beer contains silica, which can prevent brain atrophy, speech impediments and other problems.
TRUTH. Actually, alcohol destroys our brain cells, and this process is especially fast in teenagers and youth. Regular beer consumption affects human intellect and learning abilities. People who suffer from hard forms of beer alcoholism usually have sheer mental problems and are inclined to oligophrenia.
МYTH 5. Beer is useful for our heart and vessels.
TRUTH. Beer causes very harmful changes in physical shape and work of human heart and whole cardio-vascular system. Beer contains great amounts of carbon dioxide, which goes into our blood very fast and causes problems with vessels, such as varicose, etc.
МYTH 6. Beer has a pleasant taste and is useful for our digestion. It contains natural composites of starch, which advantage digestion and producing gastric juice.
TRUTH. No matter how many useful properties are attributed to hops, it contains very dangerous tars, which are proven to have carcinogenic properties. Studies showed that drinking too much beer increases risks to have colon cancer. Besides, beer contains such element as cobalt, which is known for its properties to trigger inflammation in esophagus and stomach.
МYTH 7. Beer is useful because it has a lot of vitamins. Some beer lovers are convinced that by drinking 1 liter of beer a day you can obtain your daily norm of all necessary elements and vitamins.
TRUTH. Actually, beer has almost no vitamins at all. During the process of beer manufacturing all the vitamins that initially exist in natural ingredients are gone. As a result, 1 liter of beer contains only 0,005-0,15 mg of thiamine, 0,3-1,3 of riboflavin, etc.
MYTH 8. Beer can boost sexual function.
TRUTH. Alcohol is always bad for sexual function, both in men and women. Alcohol inhibits production of androgens in your body that can substantially lower your sex drive. In addition, beer contains a series of toxic elements, including the composites of heavy metals, which can cause harmful changes in endocrine system.
MYTH 9. Beer is useful for our nervous system as it has calming and relaxing effects, helps to relief stress and so on.
TRUTH. Beer affects our nervous system since it contains certain psychoactive elements, which make beer act as a dangerous intoxicant. Besides, beer has sedative properties, which affect memory and our sensorimotor activity.
MYTH 10. Beer is useful for kidneys due to its diuretic properties.
TRUTH. Beer washes out proteins, fats, carbs and useful elements form our body, especially potassium, magnesium and Vitamin C. A lack of potassium can cause changes in our heart rhythm, dry skin, pains in legs, etc. A lack of magnesium brings to sleep disorders, irritability and nervousness. A lack of Vitamin C in our body leads to problems with immunity, attention deficit and other mental imbalances.
So, are we still talking about useful properties of beer?Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.