Is beer healthy?

Ist Bier gesund

Hildegard von Bingen and Paracelsus praised its medicinal qualities: beer. Some people still claim that beer is medicine – if only it weren't for the alcohol.

Consumed in small quantities, beer is said to provide health benefits. It’s believed to reduce the risk of heart attack, strengthen our immune system and be good for our skin and hair. In fact: besides alcohol, beer contains vitamins, trace elements, minerals and lots of hops. It's the hops in particular that are healthy and that researchers are investigating. They contain substances like flavonoids and xanthohumol, which have an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect. At the same time, the bitter substances in hops calm the body and mind.

Hop concentration differs from beer to beer 

But experts are convinced that in order to benefit from the properties of hops, a greater concentration is needed than is contained in a beer. For this reason, concentrated hop extract is used for manufacturing natural sleeping aids and bodycare products. The concentration of hops in beer isn't only relatively low, it also differs from beer to beer. It’s the same with the content of polyphenol and xanthohumol – even in the same types of beer. This is shown by a test conducted by Gesundheitstipp, demonstrating that filtration destroys vitamins in the yeast. A naturally cloudy beer therefore usually contains more vitamins than a clear beer.

Different brewing process in the past

The brewing process and ingredients have also changed over the centuries. It’s assumed that beer was made with completely different ingredients and was possibly healthier in the past. This is because beer was brewed from many different types of grain and contained less alcohol. So, according to old recipes, Hildegard von Bingen and Paracelsus might be right: beer is a wonderfully healthy drink – if only it weren't for the alcohol.

Alcohol-free please

The alcohol contained in beer is so harmful that it cancels out the health-promoting effects. Also controversial are the frequently proven health-promoting effects of consuming beer in moderation, which have just been challenged by a summary that covers several studies. If you want to drink a cool beer and – aside from the refreshing and social aspects – do something good for your body, then it's better to pick a non-alcoholic alternative.

Vitamins, minerals and trace elements in beer



Daily requirement


Daily requirement


Contained in beer
(per litre)


Energy(kcal) 2550 1940 150-1100
Protein(g) 63 50 3-5
Carbohydrates(g) 63 50 0-61
Fat(g) 63 50 Neg.
Vitamin A(µg) 1000 800 Neg.
Vitamin D(µg) 5 5 Neg.
Vitamin E(µg) 10 8 Neg.
Vitamin K(µg) 80 65 Neg.
Vitamin C(µg) 60 60 Bis 30
Thiamine(mg) 1.5 1.1 0.003-0.08
Riboflavin(mg) 1.7 1.3 0.02-0.8
Niacin(mg) 19 15 3-8
Vitamin B6(mg) 2.0 1.6 0.07-1.7
Folate(µg) 200 180 40-600
Vitamin B12 2 2 3-30
Biotin(µg) 30-100 20-100 2-15
Calcium(mg) 800 800 40-140
Phosphorous(mg) 800 800 90-400
Magnesium(mg) 350 280 60-200
Iron(mg) 10 15 0.1-0.5
Zinc(mg) 15 12 0.01-1.48
Selenium(µg) 70 55 <0.4-7.2

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