Numerous studies have revealed the beneficial effects of moderate beer consumption on cardiovascular diseases. However, the presence of alcohol in beer can represent a matter of concern, since alcohol intake poses a risk to some individuals. Additionally, adults who are life-long abstainers should not be encouraged to consume alcohol for health purposes. Consequently, the benefits of beer consumption remain a controversial issue. In this scenario, the present review gathers the reported information concerning the cardiovascular effects of non-alcoholic beer, and makes a comparison between these effects and those of conventional beer. Despite the scarcity of published results to date describing the effects of non-alcoholic beer consumption, the available literature indicates that it is more effective than conventional beer in preventing oxidative stress (lower lipid and protein oxidation), preserving the endothelial function (lower endothelial dysfunction) and inhibiting thrombogenic activity (lowered oxidized LDL). By contrast, conventional beer has shown to induce greater increases in HDL-cholesterol levels (known as a cardiovascular protective factor) compared to non-alcoholic beer. This effect cannot be solely attributed to alcohol content, since the polyphenol content in conventional beer tends to be higher than that found in non-alcoholic beer.
Keywords: (poly)phenols; alcohol; beer; cardiovascular markers; non-alcoholic beer.