Good news for beer lovers: a new study finds that drinking a pint a day can improve the health of your heart.
Researchers at Harokopio University in Athens found blood flow to the heart improved within a couple of hours of drinking two-thirds of a pint, or 400 milliliters of beer.
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While the study was small, involving 17 nonsmoking men in their late 20s and early 30s, it adds to previous evidence that moderate beer consumption may be good for your heart.
The subjects completed three rounds of cardiovascular tests after drinking the same amount of alcohol-free beer or a measure of vodka. All three drinks had some benefit to the stiffness of arteries around the heart, and therefore the blood flow to the heart, but the arteries were most flexible after polishing off the beer.
Prior research from the University of Wisconsin in Madison has found that darker beers, such as stout and ale, may benefit the heart more than lager. The rationale is that dark beer is rich in flavonoids, which have powerful antioxidant effects.
The results of the new study were published online this week in the journal Nutrition.