Women who drink one or two pints each week lower their risk of suffering a heart attack by 30%, researchers at the University of Gothenburg have said. According to research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, consuming a moderate amount of beer could lessen the chances of a women suffering a cardiac arrest.
The study monitored 1,500 women who were surveyed on their consumption of beer, wine or spirits over a 50-year period. The participants were initially asked to rate their consumption of drinks from "daily" to "none in the past 10 years" at the beginning of the study.
The researchers then re-surveyed the women after 32 years and at the end of the study in 2009. They discovered that the women who drank spirits more than twice a month had almost a 50% higher chance of cancer, and the ones who drank beer once or twice per week had a 30% lower heart attack risk.
Co-author of the report, Dr Dominique Hange, from the University of Gothenburg said in a statement: "Previous research also suggests that alcohol in moderate quantities can have a certain protective effect, but there is still uncertainty as to whether or not this really is the case.
"Our results have been checked against other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which substantiates the findings. At the same time, we were unable to confirm that moderate wine consumption has the same effect, so our results also need to be confirmed through follow-up studies."
Hange, however, tempered the study's findings by saying it is premature to recommend that women drink beer regularly, as this protection must be compared with the possible disadvantages of alcohol consumption.
As microbreweries have grown in popularity, researchers have been quick to analyse the different ingredients in certain beers that may have potential health benefits. For example, not only do certain beers contain essential B vitamins, including vitamins B6 and B12, riboflavin and folate, but they also provides as much silicon as whole grains and vegetables, according to the Daily Mail.
Studies on silicon have shown the supplement can improve bone density and strength in both animals and humans. A recent study from France even suggests beer drinkers are healthier food shoppers.