By Deborah Jackson, editor National Liquor News
Australian beer producers have welcomed an Italian scientific study, which says that moderate beer consumption can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A review of more than 150 studies by epidemiologists led by the Mediterranean Neurological Institute in Pozzilli, Italy, has found the alcohol and some of the other chemicals in beer had a range of beneficial effects.
The review concluded that drinking up to two 330ml cans of beer a day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by about a quarter.
Tim Reardon, executive director of the Brewers Association of Australia and New Zealand, said that the study is good news for the vast majority of Australian beer drinkers who enjoy beer responsibly.
“Most Australians consume beer in a moderate, positive and responsible way.
“Beer is a significant contributor to our economy and also provides a number of social benefits as an icon of Australian and New Zealand culture,” Reardon said.
“For the minority of people who misuse beer, we support greater education, and where necessary, targeted interventions to reduce the instances of misuse.”
The study found that most women could drink a small can of beer a day, and most men two, without any obvious changes to their odds of getting dementia, most cancers, or other common diseases.
Writing in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, the scientists concluded that: “Unless they are at high risk for alcohol-related cancers or alcohol dependency, there is no reason to discourage healthy adults who are already regular light or moderate beer consumers from continuing.”
The Brewers Association of Australia and New Zealand is committed to the promotion of responsible consumption of alcohol, and supports targeted intervention that will successfully reduce harm for specific impact groups.