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Tuesday
Jul232013

THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH: GOOD AND BAD FOR BEER

There was good and bad news for beer lovers from the world of science and research this week.

Being beer lovers, let's go with the good first: researchers in Greece have found (yet again. This is an oldie that seems to recur every year or two from the grant-chasers) that drinking beer improves blood flow and the hearts workings.

An hour after making 17 non-smokers in their twenties knock off 400 milliletres (two-thirds of a British pint or 80% of a US pint), researchers at the Harokopio University in Athens then measured their heart function.

Obviously, they ran tests before the beer and then they ran them again after making them (probably at gunpoint) drink the same amount of alcohol-free beer and then again after a shot of vodka. Notably, no gluten-free beers were used.

Now, granted, 17 people isn't exactly the sort of broad-acre, penetrating analysis you'd expect of the NSA (who are reading this right now), but they found that aortic stiffness reduced after each of the test drinks, making arteries more flexible. Endothelial function (how easily blood passes through major arteries) only improved after drinking proper, normal-strength beer.

Researchers also decided that the connection between beer and the heart needed to be investigated in more detail, presumably on Mikonos and I hope they got their grant extension.

Now for the downside. This may change in another study somewhere in the world next week, but a Smithsonian researcher insists that beer can make your blood more attractive to mosquitos. Who knew mosquitos liked beer?

The Smithsonian magazine wrote: “Just a single 12-ounce bottle of beer can make you more attractive to the insects, one study found. But even though researchers had suspected this was because drinking increases the amount of ethanol excreted in sweat, or because it increases body temperature, neither of these factors were found to correlate with mosquito landings, making their affinity for drinkers something of a mystery.”

 

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