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Drop That Apple! : A Few Beers a Day Keep Doctor Away, Study Finds

December 19, 1985|United Press International

BALTIMORE — A Johns Hopkins medical researcher says drinking beer may improve your health by 25% over that of nondrinkers or those who imbibe stronger spirits.

"It's not absolutely clear whether healthy people just drink moderately or if good health arises from moderate drinking," Dr. Thomas B. Turner, president of the Hopkins Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation, said in releasing the study Tuesday.

"But one thing is sure--moderate drinking does not have any chronic ill effects. That's one message that comes through quite clear," Turner said.

Turner said that moderate drinking was determined by a person's weight, giving as an example three beers for a 150-pound person over a 24-hour period.

The study, which surveyed more than 17,000 Canadians, was sponsored by the Brewers Assn. of Canada and Johns Hopkins. The United States Brewers Assn. also provides financial support for the Hopkins research foundation.

The survey indicated that beer drinkers suffered 25% less illness than nondrinkers or those who drank hard liquor. Turner said it was not clear why beer seems to be beneficial but noted that it does contain minerals and vitamins.

The apparent better health of beer drinkers was associated more with the regularity of drinking than with the amount of beer consumed, he said.

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