Beer is good for you.
Researchers at Harokopio University in Athens, Greece, found blood flow to the heart improved within a couple of hours of drinking two-thirds of a pint of beer.
In a small study involving 17 nonsmoking men in their late 20s and early 30s, the researchers backed previous evidence that moderate beer consumption may be good for the heart.
The study subjects had their cardiovascular health measured within an hour or two of drinking a little more than two-thirds of a pint of beer. They later had the same tests done after the same amount of alcohol-free beer or a measure of vodka.
Researchers tested for endothelial function — a measure of how easily blood passes through major arteries — as well as aortic stiffness to check for hardening in the arteries.
All three drinks had some benefit to the stiffness of arteries around the heart and blood flow to the heart, but the arteries were most flexible after drinking beer.
Previous studies have found that darker beers rich in flavonoids, which have powerful antioxidant effects, may be the most beneficial to heart health.
The results of the new study were published online this week in the journal Nutrition.