Strong beers that contain gut-friendly bacteria may help fight obesity

Drinking a strong type of beer, particularly a Belgian one, can help combat obesity, promote a good night’s sleep, and may help you live longer, a new study found.

A Dutch scientist at Amsterdam University has found that much like yogurt, which contains gut-friendly bacteria, they are also found in some types of strong beer. These beers are rich in probiotics, providing various health benefits, including warding off obesity and having a quality sleep.

Belgian beer bottles. Image Credit: Botond Horvath / Shutterstock
Belgian beer bottles. Image Credit: Botond Horvath / Shutterstock

Professor Eric Claassen, who presented his research at an event held by Yakult, a probiotic drink maker, explained that unlike other beers available in the market that go through a single fermentation process, stronger beers such as Westmalle Tripel, Hoegaarden, and Echt Kriekenbier, are fermented twice.

When they go through a second fermentation, the process makes the flavor drier and at the same time, strengthens the beer with a different yeast strain. This type of yeast converts sugar in the grain into alcohol, and it also produces a certain kind of acids that are toxic to disease-causing bacteria.

However, the only beers applicable are those out of the bottle. The good bacteria in these beers are good for sleeping patterns and in fighting obesity.

“You are getting a stronger beer that is very, very healthy," Claassen said.

However, the researcher warned to drink in moderation, and he doesn’t want to give license to people to drink more beer, but those who advocate good health are aware it’s hard for people to stop at one.

"In high concentrations, alcohol is bad for the gut, but if you drink just one of these beers every day, it would be very good for you,” he added.

In a previous study by researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS), they created a specialty beer that incorporates probiotics Lactobacillus paracasei L26, which can neutralize viruses and toxins, and help boost immune response. The researchers emphasized the benefits of probiotics on health and how creating drinks with these good bacteria can help ward off diseases.

What are probiotics?

It is well-known that probiotics have a multitude of health benefits. Probiotics are live bacteria, and yeasts added to food like yogurt and food supplements. They are dubbed as friendly or good bacteria since they help restore the gut bacteria’s normal balance. Probiotics have been found to help patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and to prevent diarrhea in those who are taking antibiotics.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that live microorganisms when administered in the right amounts, can provide health benefits on the host. Probiotics have gained immense popularity over the past years due to the various health benefits they provide, including reducing the number of potentially-detrimental microorganisms.

Usually, probiotics are found in yogurt and dietary supplements. Now, they can be seen in drinks, such as fermented milk, beer, kombucha, and kimchi.

Probiotics have many health benefits, including treating diarrhea, reducing symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), treating allergies, lowering cholesterol levels, normalizing blood pressure, reducing lactose intolerance, decreasing risk for certain cancers, promoting oral health, relieving skin conditions like eczema, treating constipation, and curing vaginal infections, among others.

The NHS says that probiotics are promoted for their many health benefits. They are known to help restore balance in the gut, especially if it is disrupted by an illness or a treatment, particularly with antimicrobials.

Fermentation has been used for thousands of years to preserve food and drinks naturally. The process improves the shelf life of food, and at the same time, increase the nutritional value of food. Many bacteria, like Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Bifidobacterium, and Bacillus, and yeast and fungi, including Aspergillus, Saccharomyces, and Candida, are utilized as probiotics.

Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo

Written by

Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo

Angela is a nurse by profession and a writer by heart. She graduated with honors (Cum Laude) for her Bachelor of Nursing degree at the University of Baguio, Philippines. She is currently completing her Master's Degree where she specialized in Maternal and Child Nursing and worked as a clinical instructor and educator in the School of Nursing at the University of Baguio.


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