Beer vitamin protects heart

by Medindia Content Team on  July 21, 2001 at 12:04 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Beer vitamin protects heart
Coronary heart disease, is becoming an elite disease as so much of research are going on in identification of the risk factors. As a result of such ongoing research, hyperhomocysteinemia (increased levels of homocysteine in blood) is considered to be one of the risk factors.

Dr. O Mayer Jr and colleagues from Charles University in Pilsen, Czech Republic, found as a result of their study that beer may provide enough folate--a B vitamin that would reduce the levels of homocysteine in the blood and hence the risk of coronary artery disease.

Folate from beer may contribute to the protective effect of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular disease in population(s) with generally low folate intake from other nutrients. Beer is produced from barley and hops with the addition of brewing yeasts which contain B vitamins.

Findings by the end of their study revealed that, 35 to 65-year-olds who drank more than 196 grams (g) or 6.3 ounces of pure alcohol from beer weekly had the lowest blood levels of homocysteine and the highest blood levels of folate. Hence moderate beer consumption helps to maintain the blood levels of homocysteine to be in the normal range.

Drinking beer regularly for 3 weeks led to a 30% increase in vitamin B6 levels. This vitamin is thought to help break down homocysteine. Drinking red wine or Dutch gin brought only about half that increase, research showed.

Older individuals and men with an elevated body mass index tended to have higher homocysteine levels.

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