London: Beer buffs, here`s some news to cheer! Moderate drinking of ale and lager can cut the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, a new study has claimed.
Spanish researchers, who carried out the study, said that drinking a pint of beer a day can also help you lose weight.
To get maximum benefits from the beverage, they suggested to combine the drink with exercise and a healthy Mediterranean diet high in fish, fruit and vegetables and olive oil.
According to the researchers, beer contains folic acid, vitamins, iron and calcium and has the same health benefits already attributed to moderate wine drinking.
However, binge drinking and taking beer with fatty foods like chips and lack of exercise may lead to beer bellies, they warned.
Lead researcher Dr Ramon Estruch said: "Moderate beer consumption is associated with nutritional and health benefits."
"It does not necessarily mean weight gain since it has no fat and calorie content is low," Dr Estruch said.
He contrasted the culture of drinking small glasses of beer with tapas in Spain to binge drinking in Britain.
He said: "Beer drinkers here do not resemble Britons, who drink large quantities, almost without moving from one spot, while eating chips and sausages."
The study was carried out jointly by researchers from the Barcelona University, the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona and the Carlos III Institute of Health in Madrid.
For the research, the team led by Dr Estruch and Dr Rosa Lamuela tested 1,249 men and women over 57 years old.
They found that those who regularly drank moderate amounts of beer were less likely to suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure and had a lower body fat content.
Those with a Mediterranean diet who drank up to a pint of beer a day "not only did not put on weight, but in some cases even lost weight."
Beer provides a "protective effect" on the cardiovascular system and has a relatively low alcohol content compared to other drinks, they concluded.