Found in another group:
Pint O'Guinness Keeps Doc Away
By KEVIN HUNT
The Hartford Courant
Last update: 12 May 2004
A man walks into a bar, orders a 12-ounce bottle of Corona Extra.
Another man walks in, orders a 12-ounce Guinness draft.
The two men turn to each other, raise their glasses and say,
"Here's to your health."
Question: Whose dietary and health interests are better served by
the 12-ounce beer?
If the guidelines are less alcohol, fewer calories, fewer
carbohydrates and, to top it off, protection against heart attacks,
blindness and maybe even impotence, then it's the Guinness drinker,
Guinness, in fact, is lower in alcohol, calories and carbohydrates
than Samuel Adams, Budweiser, Heineken and almost every other
major-brand beer not classified as light or low-carb. It has fewer
calories and carbohydrates than low-fat milk and orange juice, too.
Could this be the same Irish stout that looks like a still-life
root-beer float and tastes about as filling as a quarter-pounder
Yes, the same Guinness that beer expert Michael Jackson (the
British king of hops) calls the world's classic dry stout. It's a
favorite of Bono (obviously), Madonna (with a good cigar) and Matt
Damon (no, Guinness does not make teeth unnaturally white).
This tastes-great, more-filling formula defies nutritional
expectations because Guinness is so low in alcohol, a source of
empty calories. Guinness is 4.2 percent alcohol by volume, the same
as Coors Light. Budweiser and Heineken check in at 5 percent.
"That surprised me," says Dr. Joseph Brennan, a Yale-New Haven
Hospital cardiologist of Irish heritage and a confirmed Guinness
"I could never understand why one or two wouldn't leave me light-
Brennan, like many cardiologists, recommends a drink a day for his
cardiac patients. Red wine, in particular, has been shown to help
prevent heart attacks. Now maybe it's beer's turn. A University of
Wisconsin study last fall found that moderate consumption of
Guinness worked like aspirin to prevent clots that increase the
risk of heart attacks.
In the study, Guinness proved twice as effective as Heineken at
preventing blood clots. Guinness is loaded with flavonoids,
antioxidants that give the dark color to many fruits and
These antioxidants are better than vitamins C and E, the study
found, at keeping bad LDL cholesterol from clogging arteries.
Blocked arteries also contributes to erectile dysfunction, as does
overindulgence in alcohol.
Guinness has a higher concentration than lighter beers of vitamin
B, which lowers levels of homocysteine, linked to clogged arteries.
And researchers have found that antioxidants from the moderate use
of stout might reduce the incidence of cataracts by as much as 50
It's milk's line, but beer gives you strong bones, too.
"The reason, we think, is that beer is a major contributor to the
diet of silicon," says Katherine Tucker, an associate professor of
nutritional epidemiology at Tufts University's Friedman School of
Nutrition Science and Policy.
Tucker recently participated in a study that showed beer, either
dark or light, protects bone-mineral density because of its high
levels of silicon, which allows the deposit of calcium and other
minerals into bone tissue.
In Ireland, where the slogan "Guinness Is Good for You" was born,
the stout's medicinal uses are the stuff of legend. Diageo, the
U.S. distributor of Guinness, makes no claims about its medical
benefits, says spokeswoman Beth Davies from the company's offices
in Stamford, Conn.
But a visitor to Ireland might hear accounts (most no longer, if
ever, true) of Guinness administered to nursing mothers, blood
donors, stomach and intestinal post-operative patients and mothers
recovering from childbirth.
"Pregnant women and racehorses, one a day," says Michael Foley of
Wethersfield, Conn., standing over a pint of Guinness in the
subterranean bar at the Irish American Home Society in Glastonbury,
Foley, who left Castlemaine, County Kerry, 43 years ago but retains
a Guinness-thick brogue, returns a cocked-head glance that says,
loosely translated from Gaelic, "Duh."
"It's made from barley, you know," he says.
True. Roasted and malted barley (it gives Guinness its deep ruby
color), hops, yeast and water from the Wicklow Mountains, south of
Dublin. Guinness gets its rich, creamy head from a mixture of
nitrogen and carbon dioxide when dispensed from a tap.
Our man who ordered that 12-ounce Guinness obviously wasn't in an
Irish pub, which serves the stout in a 20-ounce imperial-pint glass
after a deliberate, often agonizing, two-part pour that allows the
beer to settle. But if he knows what's good for him, maybe he'll
stick around for one more.
"Most health research," says Tucker, "suggests that benefits,
including protection against heart disease, are noted with up to
one drink per day for women and up to two a day for men. Above this
amount, the negative effects of alcohol seem to outweigh the
- posted 16 years ago