A recent study by some scientist boffins has provided some good news for those of us that like a glass of something nice and refreshing every now and again. It should also particularly please this fella, Mr Rabid Barfly, who is logging and blogging his beer consumption throughout the month of January.
A joint study involving Barcelona University and Madrid's Carlos III Institute of Health concluded that moderate consumption of beer can actually have some positive health benefits. They found that up to a pint a day can reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and, in some instances, even help people lose weight.
One of the authors, Dr Lamuela said "In this study we banish myths. We know that beer is not to blame for obesity." The study tested 1249 men and women and they found that those with regular moderate consumption of beer were less likely to suffer from the conditions listed above. Beer contains folic acid, vitamins, iron and calcium which, according to the study, has a 'protective' effect on the cardiovascular system. Beer contains 200 calories which is roughly the same a full fat caffe latte.
However, it is not all good news.
A few caveats remain. The study looked at the effects of moderate beer consumption AND a Mediterranean diet. Also, all of the study subjects were over 57 years of age. So perhaps, not good news for British drinkers after all. Study co-author, Dr Estruch said that Spanish drinkers do not resemble their British counterparts who "drink large quantities, almost without moving from one spot, while eating fried chips and sausages." There's nothing like crude national stereotypes, eh?
It seems to me that the moral of the study is that if you are planning on a session of 'moderate' beer drinking then you had best get yourself down to Waitrose or Borough Market and stock up on Spanish olives, Iberian ham and Manchego cheese.
As our Spanish cousins say, Salud!