Health, Wellness and Beer with Dr Charlie Bamforth – BeerSmith Podcast #273

Dr Charlie Bamforth joins me this week to discuss health, wellness benefits and risks with beer.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (54:09)

  • This week I welcome back Dr Charlie Bamforth. Charlie is Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Davis. Charlie joins me this week to discuss the health benefits and risks with beer.
  • DISCLAIMER: As discussed in the podcast, beer can have some health benefits when consumed in moderation, but obviously you should never drink and drive, or drink to excess which carries significant short term and long term health risks.
  • We start with a short discussion of Charlie’s recent activities since his retirement from UC Davis. He’s still teaching the master brewing class as well as putting courses onto Coursera, which is an online education platform where many of Charlie’s lectures are now available.
  • We discuss why talking about health and beer is such a difficult topic because it has become socially unacceptable, as there is a heavy bias against it.
  • Making things more complex is the fact that its hard to isolate health effects from beer alone as it should only be done in moderation and a lot of other lifestyle factors come into play.
  • We first discuss calories from alcohol and how the moderate consumption of alcohol can have both positive and negative effects on the body.
  • We discuss carbohydrates including the obvious fact that in fermented beer, all of the simple carbohydrates have been fermented away so only the more complex carbohydrates are left which are slowly digested by the body.
  • We discuss proteins, though beer is not a major source of daily protein.
  • We discuss phenolics which come from both malt and hops and are antioxident compounds.
  • We discuss vitamins and probiotics from yeast and malt.
  • Some research has shown that moderate consumption of beer has shown reduction of risk of certain heart risks, hypertension, eye and diabetes problems.
  • We discuss the obvious risks of drinking too much including drunk driving, cirrhosis of the liver, heart and long term health problems. Moderation and avoiding drunk driving are very important here.
  • Charlie gives us his closing thoughts.


Thanks to Dr Charlie Bamforth for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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