A small bottle a day
Beer affects the intestinal flora of men
The diverse composition of the bacteria in the gut is the best basis for maintaining good health. Lager, whether or not it contains alcohol, could help.
Drinking a small bottle of beer daily can have a positive effect on the intestinal flora, also known as the intestinal microbiome, in men. This is according to a study by researchers from Portugal.
22 healthy men were enrolled in a small pilot study. Half of the subjects drank a 0.33 liter bottle of 5.2% lager alcohol every day after dinner for four weeks. Subjects in the second group received a small bottle of soft lager for the same period.
Before and after four weeks of beer consumption, the test subjects were examined for their intestinal flora and determined important health parameters such as body mass index (BMI) or so-called serum markers for heart health. The research group found a more diverse microbiome in subjects in both groups after drinking beer for science. Beer consumption had no negative effects on the weight, metabolism or heart health of the study participants, the researchers write in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry”.
Strengthening the intestinal barrier
The team was able to see that both non-alcoholic and alcoholic lager increased the diversity of bacterial species in the gut. These were types of bacteria associated with beneficial health effects, such as intestinal barrier function.
Researchers are currently unable to explain exactly how these positive effects arise in the microbiome. However, they assume that polyphenols, ie secondary plant substances found in beer, could be to blame. It is also conceivable that microorganisms, which are formed in beer by fermentation, enrich the diversity of bacteria in the gut – or it is a mixture of polyphenols and microorganisms.
According to the results, on the other hand, alcohol does not play a role. The team therefore emphasizes that drinking soft beer is the healthier decision, because regular alcohol consumption has other unhealthy effects. Whether the results of the study can be applied to the intestinal flora of women or the consumption of other beers must first be clarified by further studies.