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Beer, Red Wine Has The Same Antioxidant Value?

If you've been trying to convince your Sunday afternoon football buddies to switch from beer to red wine in order to boost their levels of antioxidants, forget it. According to a Canadian study, one glass of beer or wine provides equivalent increases in plasma antioxidant activity, which helps prevent the oxidization of blood plasma by toxic free radicals that trigger many aging diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and cataracts.

In fact, researchers were very surprised one drink of beer or stout contributed an equal amount of antioxidant benefit as wine, especially since red wine contains about 20 times the amount of polyphenols as beer.

Even though red wine contains more polyphenols than beer, this study showed the body absorbs about equally effective amounts of bioactive molecules such as polyphenols from beer and wine. Beer, wine, stout, and matured spirits (rum, whisky, sherry and port), which extract tannins from the oak casks they are matured or stored in, all contain significant amounts of polyphenols.

While studies have shown one daily drink of almost any alcoholic beverage can help reduce the risk of many aging diseases, scientists caution a larger daily intake (three drinks per day) actually increases the risk of these diseases.

Science Blog September 16, 2004

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