We assessed the influence of alcohol-free beer on factors implicated in atherosclerosis, such as lipid profile, oxidative stress parameters, and proinflammatory cytokines, in postmenopausal women, a population particularly at risk for atherosclerotic disease.
The study was carried out in 29 nuns, 58 to 73 y old, who live in a convent with a disciplined, regular, and homogeneous lifestyle. The nuns maintained their habits and diet routine, but their meals were supplemented with 500 mL/d of alcohol-free beer (0.0%) divided into two doses over a 45-d period. Lipid profile, inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein, interleukins 1 and 6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and parameters of oxidative metabolism were determined before and after the study period.
There were no differences in the levels of C-reactive protein and proinflammatory cytokines after diet supplementation. The antibody titers to oxidized low-density lipoprotein were significant lower (P < 0.05), and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (-18%, P < 0.001) and plasma carbonyl group content (-21%, P < 0.001) were decreased when compared with initial values. Increases in alpha-tocopherol levels (+9%, P < 0.05) and erythrocytic glutathione levels (+29%, P < 0.001) were also noted. With respect to lipid profile, only subjects with cholesterol levels higher than 240 mg/dL showed lower levels after supplementation.
Consumption of non-alcoholic beer produces a decrease in oxidative stress that can have a beneficial impact on cardiovascular risk; however, the circulating concentrations of inflammatory mediators involved in its pathophysiology remained unchanged.