The Health Benefits of Beer

Oenophiles have been looking down their noses at beer drinkers since time began. But the past few years have given grape-lovers a particularly powerful weapon against the unwashed masses of grain-supporters: health claims. A series of studies showed that red wine had life-extending health benefits, possibly because of a chemical called resveratrol, unmatched by any other alcoholic beverage.

Two recent studies, though, may turn the tables on smug wine drinkers.

The first brought the news that drinking red wine mayincrease women’s risk of breast cancer. Women who drank more than four glasses a day — admittedly more than previous studies had shown to be helpful — face a 15% higher risk of the disease, according to the researchers.

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