London - Drinking a pint of beer a day could improve the health of your heart, research shows.
Scientists found blood flow to the heart improved within a couple of hours of polishing off two-thirds of a pint – and that the effect was more powerful than drinking a non-alcoholic equivalent.
The findings support previous evidence that moderate beer consumption could protect against heart attacks and strokes.
But this is believed to be one of the first studies to look at what happens to the cardiovascular system immediately after drinking beer.
Scientists at Harokopio University in Athens recruited 17 non-smoking men in their late twenties and early thirties.
Each had their cardiovascular health measured within an hour or two of drinking 400 millilitres of beer, the equivalent of a little more than two-thirds of a pint.
They later had the same tests done after drinking the same amount of alcohol-free beer or a measure of vodka.
The results, published online in journal Nutrition, showed all three drinks had some beneficial effect on the stiffness of arteries around the heart, but they were most flexible – and therefore improved blood flow the most – after drinking beer.
The scientists said the combination of alcohol and antioxidants in beer may be crucial to its healthy effects.
Darker beers, such as stout and ale, have been shown to be better for the heart than lager. - Daily Mail