October 26, 2008

BeerBeer 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.

Beer BellyМYTH 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.

Beer LoversMYTH 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.

21 Responses to “Myths and Truth About Beer”

  1. ChrisNo Gravatar Says:

    Actually Myth 8 is true. Alcohol increase testosterone levels see http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/eletters/ckm036v1 heavy use lowers however does lower testosterone in men http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12711931

  2. Mitos sobre la cerveza a desmitificarse - El Gran Catador Says:

    […] | guide2herbalremedies Más noticias sobre: Curiosidades Tags: alcohol, bebidas alcoholicas, cerveza, consumo […]

  3. taaviNo Gravatar Says:

    Are there any good methods or nicks to reduce or to quit beer drinking for good.

  4. PatNo Gravatar Says:

    A beer a day lowers your mortality rate by 33%. I trust Harvard grads of medicine to some little 5 year med student who reads a book about toxins.

  5. MichaelNo Gravatar Says:

    What on earth is Myth 3 about? We must be talking about a very small bottle of vodka. Three or four beers would contain about 100ml of alcohol. a 250ml bottle of vod would contain the same amount. I don’t think you even get bottles of vodka that size, and I certainly wouldn’t consider someone an alcoholic for drinking one of those.

  6. chicchesiaNo Gravatar Says:

    Most of this is true, even if it might be a bit exaggerated. But it’s been proven many times that at moderate amounts all these negative effects are outweighed by alcohol’s ability to reduce cholesterol and thus protect the heart. The trick is to find the right amount, stay in control and avoid the risk of drinking too much.

    And I agree that for “Myth 3” the math is way off.

    To match the alcohol content of a typical bottle of vodka, you have to drink more than 16 typical beer cans (US) or more than 10 pint glasses (UK). That’s considered too much by most beer drinkers, esp. if consumed daily.

  7. PeteNo Gravatar Says:

    What a damaging, poisonous, corrosive article. There are more myths – make that lies – in your answers than in any of the so-called myths you posit. Here are a few:

    Three or four beers is the equivalent of a bottle of vodka – untrue,

    Beer destroys brain cells – untrue

    Fermentation produces poisonous compounds (other than alcohol, which is of course a ‘poison’) – untrue

    Britain passed a law to stimulate beer drinking but it led to worsening alcohol problems – vague, misleading, and completely untrue

    Beer has almost no vitamins at all – completely untrue

    regular beer consumption affects learning ability and braun function – complete and utter hogwash

    Beer causes harmful changes in physical shape – geez, what stimulants are you on?!

    Apart from the complete tripe you come out with above, you fail to even tackle some of the myth you set up: you fail to argue effectively against the fact that beer has a pleasant taste, that it helps us relax, that it performs a useful social function, that it is natural.

    I wouldn’t mind, but this website clearly positions itself as an authoritative source of information about health and wellbeing.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

  8. Carla FiscinaNo Gravatar Says:

    To Pete:

    We appreciate your comment a lot and your opinion is very important! Knowing that you are “Beer Writer of the Year 2009” it would be nonsense to expect any other reaction from you, Peter!
    See more writings from Pete Brown here: petebrown.blogspot.com

  9. JosephNo Gravatar Says:

    These statements seem more based on opinion than fact. Maybe you’ve had bad run ins with alcoholics, or your parents, or a friends, loved one was an alcoholic. Look, I don’t want to kick a dead horse here, but 2 to 3 bottles of beer? Do you understand how much alcohol is actually in a beer? For instance, natural light. 4.2 %….4.2%!! Do you understand that the alcohol content in a 12 OZ bottle of Natural light would barely cover the bottom of the bottle? Not even a shots worth. There are 30 shots in a fifth of whiskey, vodka, hard liquor. That’s 30 REGULAR beers!! 36 Light Beers!! Do the math. 1 Regular beer 5%. 1 glass of 5 OZ wine. Usually 9 to 13.5%, volume wise the same, or a jigger/shot. Remember that beer is 94% filtered water, light beer is 95% filtered water. There are chemical traces in beer, and I do mean traces. I would worry more about the preservatives in your food or the chemicals you breath, or the cleaning supplies in your home. Do you know the hazardous chemicals used in making carpet? Guys, this article is baseless. Should you drink a 12 pack everyday, no. Will you die at 30 from drinking to much beer? Not likely. Also, for all you beer drinkers, be sure to consume 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day. It provides protection against alcoholic liver cirrhosis. Don’t believe me there doctor?? Look it up. You wanna teetotal, be my guest, try not to get hit by a buss or anything. You won’t live forever, whether you drink or not. I may kick the bucket at 65 rather than 75, but at least I’ll enjoy the ride. 65 years of bliss trumps 75 years of boredom in my book. or 55…or 45…cheers!!!!!!

  10. KristianNo Gravatar Says:

    Funny article, I have drink beer everyday for about 4 years now? maybe 3?

    I am a swimmer and a student in economy here in Sweden. Beer is good for soul and mind, beer is not a problem as long as you dont overdose and cant control your consumption.

  11. TerryNo Gravatar Says:

    2 Pete, Joseph and Kristian

    Hi guys!
    http://www.aa.org – this is your help!

  12. SharonNo Gravatar Says:

    They say that excessive beer consumption is worse for you than hard liquor.
    From my own personal views I would say they are both just as bad as the other.
    Growing up I lived in an area where excess drinking was normal and here are my views, most excess hard liquor drinkers passed away from numerous various types of cancer. Most excess beer drinkers are still alive now, but they may as well be dead with the problems they have. eg; Cirrhosis, dementia etc. Come on seriously, who wants to run around in circles with excessive diarrhoea looking for their own toilet only to find they passed out on the way and sh@t all over themselves. Surveys show in moderation that wine is the best drink, actually I have nothing bad to say about wine seeing my husbands grandmother really enjoyed it and passed away at the ripe old age of 97. Coming in second was beer with french drinking moderate amounts. French mortality rates are 40% lower but that could also be a result of the healthy diet. German beers are meant to be the heathiest beer but I prefer Crown Lager over other beers and bourbon in general. I say excess drinking won’t do too much damage if it’s on occasion and look around you and get your own personal results on alcohol. As for above I don’t see all those facts to be true. Somethin’s fishy, I smell a vodka representative!

  13. femiNo Gravatar Says:

    Beer consumption has a lot to do with tolerance level. Nutrients consumption from both natural (fruits n vegetables etc) and artificial (cereals, baked beans etc) varies from one person to another. Let’s take for example a person that eats lots of vegetables and fruits everyday also with daily calories from food might be less prone to the dangerous effects of beer. Beer, if consumed in a very low amount of one can per day has little or no effect on the human body. Note: if voldka was being manufactured in like cans as beers, a can of voldka per day will EVENTUALLY lead to liver cirrohsis

  14. Lyle CanterburyNo Gravatar Says:

    Whoever wrote this obviously has very little real knowledge about beer lol. The entire article is a joke and sounds like a holier-than-thou 7th grade health teacher trying to scare her students from ever taking a sip of good old beer
    here’s what i know: man has been drinking beer almost as long as there has been man. no more is needed to be said

  15. JCNo Gravatar Says:

    If beer was so good for you why are there so many Fatties in America pounding them down?
    If it had so much health benefit, then Americans shouldn’t have so many health problems, cancers, dementia, obesity, diabetes, etc….etc….. We drink tons of beer. Where are all these positive effects at?
    Wasn’t heart disease the # one killer. I thought beer helped with that. BIG BEER Corporations will want you to think beer is okay in America when most beers are crap and liquid waste.

  16. JohnNo Gravatar Says:

    beer as strong as 14% ? ( rare ). beer contains heavy metals? ( only if they were present in the ingredients in the first place ). Yes article is an exageration ,However as an ex heavy beer drinker I will concede that I have had a lot of health ( endocrine ) issues due to heavy consumption that went away when I drastically cut down.

    As in everything, moderation is the key.

  17. AryNo Gravatar Says:

    @JC: The “fatties” that you’re referring to are more likely to be obese because of their diet as opposed to their beer consumption. Fact: eating McDonald’s and other processed foods will kill you much faster than responsible, moderate drinking.

  18. simonNo Gravatar Says:

    Although i found the article quite amusing you have to go with the truths everytime.Where do these misconceptions come from? It”s like everything in life in moderation it will not do you any harm.

  19. AshleyNo Gravatar Says:

    Although this is extremely biased, there is quite a bit of truth. I have been watching my mother since 6th grade (I am 21 now) drink 3-5 beers every night, and she VERY MUCH SO is a candidate to prove these ARE legitimate facts, IF YOU DRINK TOO MUCH FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL GOOD. Moderation is key, and there are many people who can’t handle it. A majority of these comments are from men; beer is in their blood. I’d like to read more opinions/experiences from women.

  20. AANo Gravatar Says:

    I think this more than proves that your article is your personal opinion, based upon exaggerated and incorrect information.
    Too much beer can be harmful.
    Too much exercise, medication, TV, work, Yogurt, milk, bread, chicken, beef and even religion can kill you too. So would you write similar opinions about all those things as well?

  21. ImpyNo Gravatar Says:

    The problem is beer produced by mega-giant corporations. Think about a convenience store, how there is absolutely nothing healthy to consume at those stores. Why? Because there is poisonous chemicals and preservatives and artifical hormones that are manipulated in every product. That includes the beer. The things sold at conscience stores should not even be considered Food.

    The primary health issue with drinking beer is related to 2 things. Those are parasites and fungi. Fungi called Candida, and a huge array of parasites are hookworms, pinworms, tapeworms, and many more. They live inside of us. Look at fat old men, with bellies like they are pregnant, but the rest of their body is in healthy proportions. That is where the candida and parasites like to live. That’s why they are fat. The candida and parasites literally control the persons (hosts) thoughts, they control when they get hungry, and what they are hungry to eat. That is usually why people have “cravings” to eat sweets or junk food. It is because candida and parasites love junk food.

    Again thinking of the old mans (pregnant looking) belly. It is like a loaf of bread that has risen. Bread rises because of yeast (a type of fungus). Bread is not really healthy for us, and especially not the kind that has bleached ingredients, chemicals and other poisons added. Yeast is in beer, too. So when a person drinks a beer the candida and parasites are completely satisfied, growing stronger, multiplying and living happily. And the person (host) gets fatter, more depressed, more tired, and more under the control of the fungus and parasites.

    Of course modern doctors say that there are no parasites in the USA. Where did that exception come from? Why do the parasites only live in other countries? And, where did the bannana you ate this morning come from? Where did the mango you eat come from? Have you ever eaten something from China or South America? Everyone has.

    Again back to beer. It is fun and delicious to drink. But realize that there are actual chemicals and colorings and preservatives in there too. Why arent there Ingredients on anheiser products? Probably because the can (Aluminum, mind you) is not big enough to list them all. They use bad water with fluoride and who knows what else. Addictive chemicals like MSG are added to food to make customers keep coming back, and they do similar deceptive practices with beer. The beer will sedate a person and make them even more vulnerable to mind controlling kinds of chemical agents and advertising.

    Also, “beer” can lead to seizures. And the definition of seizure is interesting because a person can experience a seizure everyday and not even be aware of it. It is not just laying on the ground and convulsing.

    All in all, yes I do like beer but do not drink it much at all anymore. Unfortunately almost every brand of beer on the shelf today is actually owned and produced by one mega supplier and manufacture. They use the legal system to capsize every family owned brewery. They even sell “microbrews”, and the hops and supplies that real microbreweries use to produce beer.