Research on the cardiovascular benefits of moderate alcohol consumption has shown that alcohol's protective effects may be due to not only its ethanol content, but also its nonalcoholic constituents. For example, moderate drinking may lower the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) through alteration of an individual's cholesterol profile. New findings published in the May issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research indicate that nonalcoholic beer may also be able to impart cardiovascular benefits without the negative effects of alcohol, by inhibiting blood coagulation and platelet activation.
"Some research suggests that the positive effects of alcoholic beverages on cardiovascular disorders is not due to alcohol alone but also, at least in part, to other so-called confounding factors such as resveratrol, a compound present in red wine," said Steffen Bassus, a senior scientist at the Deutsche Klinik fuer Diagnostik in Germany and first author of the study. "The mechanisms which underlie the protective effects of wine and beer consumption on CHD risk are not fully understood, but there is substantial evidence that the effects on hemostasis play a key role." "Hemostasis" refers to the arrest of bleeding or circulation.
Bassus and his colleagues examined the hemostatic effects of consuming three liters of regular beer, nonalcoholic beer, or alcohol mixed with water (v/v 4%) during a three-hour period on 12 young, healthy male volunteers (19 - 36 years of age). Blood samples were drawn for analysis before and at 1.5, 3.5 and 24 hours after the begi