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Happy Cells

The Human Blood Vessels' Elixir of Life

Happy beer drinkers, perhaps fighting heart disease, in an 1890 German beer poster.

Human blood vessels are happy companions to alcohol (in moderation) and antioxidants in beer. In a beer-drinking study in 2012 conducted by nutritional researchers in Athens, Greece, beer's connection with lower cardiovascular risk (heart disease) was examined. After a group of young, non-smoking men consumed beer on three separate occasions, it was discovered that their endothelial function was significantly improved after beer consumption -- the endothelium is a thin layer of flat cells that lines human blood vessels. In addition, aortic stiffness was significantly reduced. What does it all mean? In young, healthy men who do not smoke tobacco, the effects of alcohol (in moderation) and antioxidants in beer are blood-vessel-friendly ingredients that improve the body's arterial function. Source: Kalliopi Karatzi, et al, "Acute effects of beer on endothelial function...." Nutrition (journal's website), 1 Jul 2013.

Bloody network factlet: The human heart pumps life-sustaining blood throughout the adult body via a cumulative 60,000-mile-long (97,000-km-long) network of blood vessels, enough veins, arteries, and microscopic capillaries to encircle the Earth more than twice. Sources: "The Circulatory, Respiratory, and Digestive Systems," University of Illinois at Chicago (website), 20 Apr 2014, and National Geographic (website), 10 Jul 2013.

Blood volume factlet: The volume of beer contained in five 1-liter beer steins used at Germany's annual Oktoberfest in Munich is .3 liters more than the volume of blood (4.7 liters or 9.93 pints) in a human body that weighs 160 pounds (72.57 kg). Source: "Blood," World Book Encyclopedia (Chicago, 1998).

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If you enjoy drinking beer and reading beer trivia, you may wish to brew specialty beers. We recommend Midwest Supply in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A. for beer-brewing and wine-making kits, ingredients and equipment. Live outside the U.S.? Bongo International will arrange international shipments. is the place to go for hard-to-find books about beer.


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