The hotter the weather, the more beer is consumed by those, who wish to refresh themselves. Beer is particularly popular at the peak moment of a soccer championship (now, for instance, as it’s time of UEFA Euro 2008), even among women. The low alcohol level in this drink and the talks about its good qualities did their job - the beer those days is seen as innocent as juice and soft drinks. Many pro-healthy consumers are hooked by the statement that beer is not just a drink but a well of microelements and vitamins.

As for me, I like beer, I have found my favorite sort of a certain brand and I usually prefer to drink only it. And now, during UEFA Euro 2008 I have to confess, I drink it more often. This is why I decided to find out the following thing: is beer really healthy and what effect does it have on one’s health?

Beer, Which Is Really Beneficial to Health
A “Live” draught unfiltered beer, when consumed in small portions, can be healthy indeed; some of the healthy compounds can be still found in it. In the rest of the cases, the vitamins are destroyed during the beer preparation (some of them are “eaten up” during the fermentation process, others – during the pasteurization), the yeasts are filtered out.

Beer, the Bad Diuretic
Moreover, beer is highly diuretic and ruthlessly washes the potassium, magnesium, iron, iodine, manganese out of the body, putting by this a lot of pressure on the kidneys.

Beer or Moonshine?
By the way, classic beer made with barley is rarely made these days; the manufacturers usually replace this crop with rice, wheat, and corn. When those crops ferment, unhealthy alcohols are formed, similar to those found in the moonshine.

Beer and Heart Health
Beer-lovers often enough grow themselves a “beer belly” – abdominal fat deposits, which often cause impaired cardiac function fraught with stroke. Regardless of its diuretic properties, beer can lead to liquid retention in the body; this, in turn, puts the person at some extra risk of developing hypertension.

Beer-Heart Syndrome
In addition, the carbonic acid, found in large quantities in beer, extends the capillary vessels of the mucous membrane in the digestive apparatus, so that the liquid enters blood at a faster rate. Due to the higher blood volume, the blood-carrying channels are stretched out and the heart chambers and cavities expand to a higher extend, making the cardiac walls grow thicker. In the long run, the heart gets flabby and pumps blood at a weaker rate. Medics call this condition a “beer-heart syndrome” or a “nylon stocking syndrome”.

No Beer on an Empty Stomach
Beer has no better effect on digestive system. Drinking beer on an empty stomach is particularly unhealthy. Fermentation products and carbonic acid irritate the mucous membrane in the stomach and the bowels. Beer stimulates hydrochloric acid production; since an empty stomach has nothing to digest, it starts digesting itself. Beer is not a joke for those suffering from disbacteriosis, gastritis, peracidity, and gastric ulcer.

Specialists warn those suffering from food allergies not to drink a lot of beer. Often enough, beer contains some harmful additives – preservatives added to extend its shelf life.

Drinking Beer and Manliness
Those that see beer drinking as an activity which gives a man some special charm are also mistaken. Some beer components stimulate production of female hormones estrogens. With the lapse of time this can lead to hormone imbalance and cause “feminization” of the body: round belly, wide hips, female-like breasts (the “female” obesity type). The muscle mass decreases noticeably, as well as the body and face hair growth; in addition sexual arousal is also affected. The beer-lover’s manliness is nowhere to be found.

Is Beer Low-Alcohol?
Beer lost its low-alcohol status long time ago. Some sorts of beer have up to 12 percent alcohol in them. Narcologists believe, that due to the good flavor, the sedative components and light alcohol percentage, fighting beer addiction is harder than fighting the passion for strong-alcohol drinks.

As for me, I promise to drink beer more rarely and to watch the next Euro 2008 match with some cranberry juice 

Tomorrow you will learn, how to drink beer correctly and avoid all those health problems mentioned above.