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Study says drinking lager could promote gut health in men

According to new research, men who drink one lager a day – alcoholic or not – have more diverse gut microbes.  Great news, as good gut health is known to prevent several chronic diseases.

The benefits and dangers of alcohol have been long debated in medical science, but that’s hardly stopped it from being widely consumed across the world.

It’s estimated that 2 billion people consume alcohol on a regular basis, with 76 million people reporting unhealthy relationships with alcohol – such as dependence or abuse.

Though the negative health effects of drinking are (painfully) obvious if you’ve ever experienced a hangover, a recent study suggesting alcohol speeds up brain shrinking in adults over 50 has furthered the narrative that drinking too much might not be a great choice.

At the same time, investigations into the ways alcohol can serve to improve our bodily functions have shown that a glass of red wine is good for the heart, makes ischemic strokes less likely, and could help with cholesterol levels.

In the latest discovery, beer appears to be helping with gut health – a hot topic in the field of wellness right now. Gut health has been linked to overall wellbeing and plays a part in maintaining mental health.


The American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry conducted a study of 19 men between the ages of 23 and 58 to analyse how beer, specifically lager, affects digestive health.

Half of the group drank beer with an alcohol level of 5.4 percent and the other drank non-alcoholic beer. They were instructed not to change their usual level of physical activity or their eating habits. Sounds easy enough.

For four weeks, they downed 330ml of the golden nectar with dinner. By the end of the study, none of the participants changed in overall weight or BMI, and their heart health remained the same.

What had changed, was the stuff living inside their gut. Assessments revealed both groups had greater bacterial diversity in their gut microbe – indicating an improvement in digestive health.


The human digestive system contains trillions of living bacteria which work away at keeping us healthy.

The more micro-organisms living inside us, the more likely we are to resist developing metabolic diseases, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. The likelihood of autoimmune diseases and irritable bowel syndrome are also significantly lowered.

As someone rather fond of lager, I’m a little annoyed they only tested this theory on men. Although one might reasonably assume a beer a day could be helping the ladies out, too.

Of course, medical professionals want to reinforce that we shouldn’t use this as an excuse to down 10 pints at the pub this Friday. Alcohol should always be consumed in moderation, otherwise the bad will likely outweigh the good.

But if supporting studies emerge including larger participant groups of both men and women – and come up with similar results – they might just give ‘beer belly’ a whole new meaning.