According to a recent study, men’s gut bacteria diversity may even increase when they drink non-alcoholic beer. To better understand the effect of beer on the variety of gut flora, researchers from Nova University Lisbon in Portugal requested 19 healthy adult men to consume 11 oz (325 ml) of alcoholic or non-alcoholic lager with supper every day for four weeks. The alcohol content of the alcoholic beers was 5.2 percent by volume.
The men who participated in the study were 35 on average. Because they averaged the same amount of alcohol before the research started, they were classified as moderate drinkers.
The primary contrast between the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variations made by the study’s authors was the alcohol content of the beers. Throughout the study, the males were told not to change their diet or exercise habits, and they had no idea what kind of beer they were drinking.
Their gut flora was investigated in blood and stool samples taken before and after the trial. The results were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
In addition to finding no change in weight or BMI and no new signs of heart or metabolism problems in the men’s blood, researchers found that the men’s stomachs housed a more diversified collection of microbes overall.
The scientists found that men had higher levels of faecal alkaline phosphatase, a sign of better intestinal health.
The researchers cautioned that more research involving more participants is needed to corroborate their findings and that their study did not look at how non-alcoholic beer affects the diversity of gut flora in people who don’t generally drink alcohol.
This study is not the first to link beer consumption with greater gut bacterial diversity, despite past studies solely identifying benefits to non-alcoholic beer.