A major mind boggling revelation was made at the second Nigerian Beer and Health Symposium organized by Nigerian Breweries Plc. According to nutritionists and other experts – beer, consumed in moderation, is beneficial to our cardiovascular health!
Dr. Henk Hendricks, a biologist and project leader at the Top Institute for Food and Nutrition in The Netherlands and headline speaker at the event explained that all the processes contributing to Cardio Vascular Diseases (CVD) are beneficially affected. He said these effects which have been observed in all groups studied (young and old, men and women) substantiate the casual relation between moderate alcohol consumption and CVD. According to Dr. Hendricks, some of the inherent advantages of beer is that it is low in alcohol; it is made up of over 90 per cent of water and therefore very good for rehydration and it is a good source of minerals, Vitamins, especially the B Vitamins, polyphenolic antioxidants, anti-inflammatory xanthohumoles, including gluten-free and rich fibers.
Corroborating Dr. Hendricks was Professor Tola Atinmo, Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Ibadan showed that over 100 studies in the past 30 years have confirmed positive cardiovascular effects of moderate consumption of alcohol. Professor Atinmo who also featured in the first edition of the symposium surprised the audience even more when he showed that alcohol is fat free, contains essential amino acids, vitamins and is rich in magnesium and potassium. He explained that its nutritional contents is such that it helps to reduce kidney stones, protects against radiation and has no cholesterol, among other benefits.
Earlier, Professor Emevwo Biakolo, a cultural and communication specialist and former Dean of the School of Media and Communication Studies of the Pan Atlantic University, challenged mythologies of beer culture by showing scientific proof that the contents of beer make it beneficial for human health. ‘Moderate beer intake appears to be associated with significantly longer survival in men aged 60-74 years, and in all elderly people. There is evidence that moderate alcohol consumption may be associated with better cognitive function in old age”.
Also speaking at the symposium, Mr. Tony Agenmomen, Senior Strategy Manager, NB Plc, said beer, like food, sleep, water and other good things of life can create problems for us when we indulge in their excessive consumption. He emphasized that the evidence that moderate alcohol consumption offers health benefits is overwhelming.
In his welcome address, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde said that the enthusiastic response that greeted the first edition encouraged the company to organise the second edition. He added that ‘Even though beer has been with us for thousands of years, the appreciation of its unique benefits is only beginning to grow. The knowledge about the benefits of moderate consumption of beer is multiplying every day with so many empirical research findings from all over the world”.
Other speakers and discussants at the event included Mrs Dolapo Coker, Nutritionist and first female microbiologist from the University of Ibadan, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, lawyer and media personality,Mr Kunle Hamilton, a life coach, media trainer, public relations and image consultant, journalist, doctoral researcher and communications specialist, and Mr. Kunle Bakare, publisher of Encomium Magazine among others.
The Nigerian Beer and Health Symposium id sponsored by leading beer brand, Star Lager Beer. This year’s edition was themed: “Beer and Lifestyle”.