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A few beers lower cholesterol

Posted - Sep. 16, 2004 at 7:20 a.m.



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TORONTO, Sep 15, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Downing a beer or two can lower bad cholesterol, a Canadian study has found.

One beer offers the same antioxidant benefit as drinking a glass of red wine because of polyphenols in the barley used to make beer, according to researchers at the University of Western Ontario.

Polyphenols help curb oxidative stress in the body, which kills cells and can contribute to cancer, diabetes, heart disease and cataracts, said biochemistry professor John Trevithick.

"Over the years everybody has looked down at (beer drinkers)," Trevithick, one of the lead researchers in the study, told the Toronto Sun. "We didn't think the question of wine versus beer had been addressed."

Thirty minutes after having a glass of stout or beer, drinkers' blood contained less oxidized LDL, or bad cholesterol, which can lead to hardening of the arteries, said the study to be published in the December issue of Nonlinearity in Biology, Toxicology and Medicine.

But any more than three beers and one's blood becomes pro-oxidant and can increase the risk of disease, Trevithick said.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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