ه‍.ش. ۱۳۹۲ خرداد ۶, دوشنبه

===== A Few Facts about Beer and Beer Drinking =====



Beer is an alcoholic beverage produced by the saccharification of starch and fermentation of the resulting sugar. The starch and saccharification enzymes are often derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat. Most beer is also flavoured with hops, which add bitterness and act as a natural preservative, though other flavourings such as herbs or fruit may occasionally be included. The preparation of beer is called brewing. Beer is the world's most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, and is the third-most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is thought by some to be the oldest fermented beverage (Wikipedia, 2013).

 In his article published on 19 July 2001, the multi dimensional education and interests Dr Karl S.Kruszelnicki noted that, "We have been swigging beer for at least 6000 years. There is chemical evidence for this in the 6000-year-old Sumerian trading post of Godin Tepe, in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran. This trading post later became a fortress on what would become the fabulous Silk Road. In 1991, in one of the rooms of the trading post, archaeologists found chemical evidence for wine. In 1992, in other jars in the same room, they found chemical evidence that beer had been stored in these jars". It should be noted that Godin Tepe (in Persian: Gowdin Tapeh) is a prehistoric settlement in western Iran, situated in the valley of Kangavar in the province of Kermanshah. Today, the town of Kangavar is best known for the archaeological remains of Temple of Anahita (See the Article on "My Iran, a Poem as a Road to Various Locations" written by this author). It should be also noted that the earliest known chemical evidence of wine and beer in the world was firstly reported by the researchers in the Museum Applied Science Center for Archaeology (MASCA) at The University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, USA. In 1992, archaeological chemist Dr. Patrick E. McGovern and organic chemist Dr. Rudolph H. Michel, the researchers in MASCA, analyzed an organic residue from inside a pottery vessel dated 3500-3100 BC from the site of Gowdin Tapeh in the Zagros Mountains of Iran and their findings provided the earliest known chemical evidence of beer in the world. They carried out a standard chemical technique named Feigl Spot Test (FST) on a pale yellowish residue that filled grooves within an ancient jug; the tests were positive for oxalate ion. Calcium oxalate (the calcium salt from the oxalate ion) is a major component of "beer-stone" and settles out on the surfaces of fermentation and storage tanks of barley beer, as the researchers believe occurred with the ancient residue. Prior to that finding, Drs. McGovern and Michel (MASCA researchers) with the collaboration of Virginia Badler in 1991 had obtained chemical evidence of the earliest known wine from jars from the same site and even the same room at Gowdin Tapeh (Saadat Noury, 2009).
  The main active ingredient of beer is alcohol, and therefore, the health effects of alcohol apply to beer. The moderate consumption of alcohol, including beer, is associated with a decreased risk of cardiac disease, stroke and cognitive decline. A 2005 Japanese study found that low alcohol beer may possess strong anti-cancer properties. The long term health effects of continuous, heavy alcohol consumption can, however, include the risk of developing alcoholism and alcoholic liver disease (Wikipedia, 2013).

Brewer's yeast is known to be a rich source of nutrients; therefore, as expected, beer can contain significant amounts of nutrients, including magnesium, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, biotin, chromium and B vitamins. In fact, beer is sometimes referred to as "liquid bread". Some sources maintain that filtered beer loses much of its nutrition (Wikipedia, 2013).

 It may be good to know that not all beers are created equally, especially when it comes to calories (Pop Sugar Website, 2013):
Beer Brand---------------------- Calories------Carbs (g)/ Alcohol Percent
Guinness Extra Stout-----------176------14---------------6
Guinness Draught--------126----------- 10---------------4-------------
Heineken---------------------148----------- 11.3------------5-------------
Heineken Light-------------- 99------------- 6.8----------- 3.5----------
Labatt Blue----------------- 153------------- 5-------------- 5------------- 
Molson Light--------------- 113------------ 12------------- 5.6----------
Sam Adams Light--------119-------------- 9.6-----------4-------------
Stella Artois----------------154------------- 11.6---------- 5.2----------

Isohumulones are chemical compounds that contribute to the bitter taste of beer and are in the class of compounds known as iso-alpha acids (Wikipedia, 2013).

 A series of studies using animal models have shown that beer may prevent carcinogenesis and osteoporosis; beer provides plasma with significant protection from oxidative stress; and isohumulones, the bitter substances derived from hops, may prevent and improve obesity and type-2 diabetes, improve lipid metabolism, and suppress atherosclerosis. Further studies are needed to clarify the components in addition to isohumulones that are responsible for these beneficial effects of beer (Kondo, 2004).

In May 2013, scientists from the University of Wisconsin found that a pint of the black stuff every day could prevent blood clots and heart attacks. In a study carried out on dogs with narrowed arteries, the scientists found that those who were given Guinness had reduced clotting activity in their blood compared with those who were given lager (Yahoo, 2013).

In 2009, Justin McBride sang "Beer Drinking Songs" with Brian Canter, Sean, Brendon Clark, etc. at Mandalay Bay, USA

Beer at White House: White House Honey Ale is the first beer known to have been brewed in the White House. The process began in January 2011 at the request of President Barack Obama who purchased the homebrewing kit using his personal funds. As of 2012, three styles have been brewed in addition to Honey Ale: White House Honey Blonde Ale, White House Honey Porter and White House Honey Brown  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZUzc0SDQYM

Epilogues: 1. The protective effect of beer drinking on the risk of Myocardial Infarction or Heart Attack http://www.aim-digest.com/gateway/pages/moderate/articles/myocard.htm 2. Beer drinking and some other advice after a Myocardial Infarction http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Myocardial-Infarction-After-the-MI.htm 3. More findings on the medicines for Heart Attack:  May 27, 2013 - A new drug that could help reduce damage to the body after a heart attack, stroke or major surgery has been developed by UK scientists http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22655582

Manouchehr Saadat Noury, PhD

REFERENCES
Kondo, K. (2004): Online Article on Beer and health: preventive effects of beer components on lifestyle-related diseases
Kruszelnicki, K. S. (2001): Online Article on Room Spins when Drunk
Pop Sugar Website (2013): Online Article on Time for a Cold One!, Calories in Beer 
Saadat Noury, M. (2008): Online Article on My Iran, a Poem as a Road to Various Locations
Saadat Noury, M. (2009): Online Articles on A Few Moments with Doctor Karl
Yahoo Shine Website (2013): Online Notes on Five Surprising Health Tricks
Men will Love
Wikipedia Encyclopedia (2013): Online Notes on Beer, White House Honey Ale, and Isohumulones