A large evidence-based review on the effects of a moderate consumption of beer on human health has been conducted by an international panel of experts who reached a full consensus on the present document. Low-moderate (up to 1 drink per day in women, up to 2 in men), non-bingeing beer consumption, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. This effect is similar to that of wine, at comparable alcohol amounts. Epidemiological studies suggest that moderate consumption of either beer or wine may confer greater cardiovascular protection than spirits. Although specific data on beer are not conclusive, observational studies seem to indicate that low-moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of developing neurodegenerative disease. There is no evidence that beer drinking is different from other types of alcoholic beverages in respect to risk for some cancers. Evidence consistently suggests a J-shaped relationship between alcohol consumption (including beer) and all-cause mortality, with lower risk for moderate alcohol consumers than for abstainers or heavy drinkers. Unless they are at high risk for alcohol-related cancers or alcohol dependency, there is no reason to discourage healthy adults who are already regular light-moderate beer consumers from continuing. Consumption of beer, at any dosage, is not recommended for children, adolescents, pregnant women, individuals at risk to develop alcoholism, those with cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmias, depression, liver and pancreatic diseases, or anyone engaged in actions that require concentration, skill or coordination. In conclusion, although heavy and excessive beer consumption exerts deleterious effects on the human body, with increased disease risks on many organs and is associated to significant social problems such as addiction, accidents, violence and crime, data reported in this document show evidence for no harm of moderate beer consumption for major chronic conditions and some benefit against cardiovascular disease.
Keywords: Alcohol; Beer; Cancer; Cardiovascular disease; Liver disease; Polyphenols; Public health; Stroke.
Copyright © 2016 The Italian Society of Diabetology, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, and the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.