The Role of Bioactive Phenolic Compounds on the Impact of Beer on Health

Molecules. 2021 Jan 18;26(2):486. doi: 10.3390/molecules26020486.


This review reports recent knowledge on the role of ingredients (barley, hop and yeasts), including genetic factors, on the final yield of phenolic compounds in beer, and how these molecules generally affect resulting beer attributes, focusing mainly on new attempts at the enrichment of beer phenols, with fruits or cereals other than barley. An entire section is dedicated to health-related effects, analyzing the degree up to which studies, investigating phenols-related health effects of beer, have appropriately considered the contribution of alcohol (pure or spirits) intake. For such purpose, we searched for any kind of experimental model (in vitro, animal, human observational or intervention) using beer and considering phenols. Overall, data reported so far support the existence of the somehow additive or synergistic effects of phenols and ethanol present in beer. However, findings are inconclusive and thus deserve further animal and human studies.

Keywords: alcohol; beer; health; phenols.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholic Beverages / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Beer / analysis*
  • Edible Grain / chemistry*
  • Health Status*
  • Hordeum / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Phenols / metabolism*
  • Yeasts / chemistry*


  • Phenols