According to a Chinese study, beer may contribute to a healthier gut microbiome. That’s not true, says alcohol researcher Helmut Seitz. Alcohol can neutralize the potentially beneficial effects of other substances.
The results of this study conducted in China are made to delight beer lovers. The drink has unique ingredients that have many effects, it will not only make you happy, but also healthier, he said.
The authors point out that some components of beer are broken down by the gut microbiome and thus have an effect on the regulation of the immune system. There it is said that they have anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant and antioxidant effects; that is, they turn harmful degradation products into harmless metabolic products. Which sounds great.
Brewery-funded beer study
But one look at the study is enough to dispel that understatement. The study was funded by the State Laboratory of Biological Beer Fermentation Engineering. This, in turn, is part of the Tsingtao brewery, one of the two largest producers in China.
Additionally, two of the five listed study authors are from the brewery’s own lab, as noted in the study’s “conflicts of interest” section. Because of this, Seitz doubts the freedom of study. However, he is more interested in its content, which is “terrible in the context of alcohol.”
The negative impact is greater than the positive
“Of course there are substances in beer that are beneficial to health, for example hop extract,” said Seitz, who has spent decades researching alcohol and its effects on the body.
However, the oxidative effect of alcohol is greater than the possible positive effects of all other substances. This oxidative effect of alcohol causes inflammation and increases the risk of diseases from diabetes to cancer.
“Especially in the large intestine, alcohol has a carcinogenic effect,” Seitz said. “Alcohol breaks down into acetaldehyde and that has a toxic effect.” But that’s not all, according to Seitz, beer is more harmful to the intestines than wine. However, it is not yet known why.