Beer combats heart disease: official

Excellent news

More good news for those of you who like a swift pint or two: beer doesn't just fight cancer and make you clever but also blocks "interferon-gamma-induced chemical processes".

This is a good thing, trust us, because what the Innsbruck Medical University team behind this revelation has shown - in layman's terms - is that beer offers a resultant anti-inflammatory effect which may have a "beneficial impact on coronary heart diseases".

More specifically, in vitro tests on peripheral mononuclear blood cells demonstrated that beer extracts blocked the effects of said interferon-gamma - "one of the most important messengers in inflammatory response and mainly produced as part of the cellular immune response".

To cut right to the chase: "Beer extracts inhibit, among other things, the production of neopterin and the degradation of tryptophan by suppressing T-cell response."

The team notes that "this suppression might be connected with the calming effect of beer since its normalising effect on the tryptophan balance improves the availability of the 'happiness hormone' serotonin".

Agreeably, the alcohol content of the beer is irrelevant, although lead boffin Professor Dietmar Fuchs inevitably cautioned that the potentially beneficial effects discovered "must of course be weighed against the negative effects and dangers of drinking alcohol".

Fuchs added: "The effects could indeed be observed on extracts of alcohol-free beers. Our findings must, therefore, not be understood as an encouragement to drink alcohol."

You can find the Innsbruck team's research abstract right here. ®

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