back to article Drink beer not fizzy pop for pity's sake, say boffins

Splendid news on the health front this week, as it has emerged that drinking beer is good for you - and that soft drinks will kill you. First up the beer research, carried out by researchers in California. It seems that the nutritious, health-giving stuff is actually a key source of silicon in the diet, which (it turns out) is …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Hermes Conran

    May I be the first,

    to fall face down on the mat in the interest of healthy bones!

  2. Mr_Pitiful


    No more poxy soft drinks for me

    It's beer from dawn until dust

  3. Jon999
    Thumb Up

    Best news for a very long time,,,

    Now here is finally some good news, all I now need is that they tell us that curries and kebabs are good for you and I might live to a 100 :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      they are!

      curries contain loads of anti-oxidents and spices are often shown to be medicinal, ( tumeric in blocking certain cancers, cumin in digestion, etc ). just avoid the ghee laden stuff ( olive oil is better for you )

      kebabs - a quality chicken/seekh kebab with salad and no fatty garlic mayo sauce is actually good for you as its low in fat due to being grilled/baked not fried. the express quote a chicken kebab with salad on pitta as 290 Calories and just 2g of saturated fat.

  4. Richard Stubbs

    Best of Both Worlds!

    Does a shandy cancel it all out?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So non-diet soft drinks then?

    What about other sugary drinks?

    1. Naughtyhorse
      Thumb Down

      non sugar sugar

      that would be neutrasweet, a well known carcinogen. i tihnk i'll stick with my ale if it's all the same to you

      1. Eddy Ito

        Forgot one

        There is also sucralose which looks a lot like sucrose but exchanges 3 hydroxyl groups for chlorine and goes by the name "Splenda" in the US, it's E955 according to the wikipedio files. Sure, it will probably kill you if you eat a half pound per day but then so will a lot of things.

        That said, by all means stay with the ale! Cheers!

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Well that all depends...

      Diet drinks are full of aspartime (artificial sweetener - made by the same Japanese company thta makes MSG - another discusting and unnecessary additive). Aspartime has been shown to cause neurological damage and is generally unpleasant stuff. Exactly WHY it is allowed as a food product is something you'll have to ask your local government food/drug department.

      Personally, I don't touch anything with aspartime in it - try googling for it - you're sure to find something to scare you!

      1. Tom 38
        Black Helicopters

        It's spelt Aspartame matey

        and it is only 'unpleasant stuff' if you are the kind of conspiracy nut that posts as AC to a discussion about beverages.

        1. SirTainleyBarking

          It is unpleasant

          "Diet" drinks with it in taste like shit!

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: posting as AC

          "if you are the kind of conspiracy nut that posts as AC to a discussion about beverages"

          Since this is El Reg I think I ought to stick up for the right to anonymity. After all, you wouldn't want to give ammunition to the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" brigade, would you?

          Oh, and on the general point about aspartame, whilst it is quite harmless to most people, there is (I believe) a genetic reason why a small proportion of the population ought to avoid it. I think it makes their pee go black. I don't know if there are any harmful effects. Doubtless this ignorant posting on the interweb will irritate someone who knows into giving us the full details. Or you could just google it, like I was too lazy to do.

    3. David Stever

      Bad research

      Eye, my question is whether it's sugar doing the dirty deed, or the High Fructose Corn Syrup that we Americans are subjected to, else the crap they put in the diet pop. Unless the study breaks this down, I'm afraid it's back to the lab and another decade of research. Thanks to the the Corn lobby, there's not a damned thing we can buy in America that isn't polluted with the HFCS that is making us all fat.

      Barley pops all around boys, we're getting another research grant, and we're in the money now!

  6. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Thumb Up

    Ig Nobel prize!!


  7. Anonymous Coward

    The perfect diet

    So when is the diet book coming out which advises Beer at least once a day and with the health benifits of red wine making the news repeatedly, maybe red every other day?

    Not sure we can fit whisky in at weekends, someone needs to do a study.

  8. Richard Bragg

    Is this beer

    Or that nasty gassy lager stuff?

    1. Elmer Phud

      Beer or - -

      Hopefully not that crap called 'Bud' or most of the stuff they tend to call 'beer' - which we are liable to call 'fizzy pop'.

      1. Michael C

        It's simple

        If you can see through it with less color distortion than dark sunglasses would apply, and it's not either water, white wine, or above 100 proof, then it's not worthy of consumption. I prefer my beer to be much closer to opaque personally.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      Well they did mention hops...

      There's hops in lager, but you get some really hoppy real ales....

  9. Edwin ten Dam
    IT Angle

    IT angle ?


    Beer/IT/Paris/BofH : it's all coming together nicely now!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The perfect diet

    So when is the diet book coming out which advises Beer at least once a day and with the health benifits of red wine making the news repeatedly, maybe red every other day?

    Not sure we can fit whisky in at weekends, someone needs to do a study.

    1. David Stever

      The Pilgrim Diet

      Whilst putting up with the folks at the Pilmouth Plantation Hysterical Recreation at Plymouth Mass, the folks there told us the the average person back in the day consumed a pound of meat, a pound of bread, and a quart of ale/beer a day. Everybody, including the kids. Good bless the ancestors.

  11. Plasma

    Get a grip!

    'May' and 'We think' are both very wooly statements, it seems as soon as beer's involved the pendantry I love you commentards for goes out the window!

    Sillicon might be good for you, but alcohol is a drug. A toxic, habit forming drug, inducing violence, vomiting and ultimately liver failure.

    1. Number6

      Pedantry Bias

      I'm sure someone's done a study on the effect that makes people less critical of reports that support their existing views than they are of reports that imply their precious views are wrong.

      Perhaps all the old jokes about silicon chips can be recycled now.

    2. tardigrade


      Spoil sport.

    3. Tom Maddox Silver badge

      Your point?

      I'm sure you have one, but I'm just not grasping it.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ''News' brought to you by the alcohol industry

    How much industry sponsorship do these researchers rely on?

  13. Stone Fox

    Do they mean

    Lager? Or that dark coloured, flat, warm, foul tasting stuff the old men drink?

    1. KarlTh

      They call that "beer"

      it's not drunk by "old men" but by "discerning drinkers". as opposed to the cold yellow fizzy piss aka "beer for people who don't like beer".

      1. Steen Hive

        Beer Schmeer

        One may call people who drink "Thrutchwarton's Old Sphincter" "discerning drinkers", however more colourful descriptions abound, of the sort usually reserved for food critics, trainspotters, militant social workers in corduroy jackets with elbow-pads, and the like.

    2. Suburban Inmate

      Like the ad said...

      "What's the matter lagerboy, afraid you might taste something?"

      (Troll: Closest icon to a hobgoblin)

  14. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Diet fizz is OK presumably

    except that your teeth still dissolve.

    As for bones, I thought calcium was the stuff for those. Silicon? That's what they make fake tits out of. I don't want those. Well, I don't think I do.

  15. James Micallef Silver badge



  16. Anonymous Coward

    Good news - up to a point

    this will launch another raft of Government severe bossiness adverts on the telly.

    i'm old enough to remember a time when Governments just got on with ruining the country without the need to continually assault us with preachy messages.

    Santa didn't give me what I wanted this Christmas past.

    I asked Santa for a machine gun, an unlimited amount of ammunition, and full extended access to all the Westmonster politicians. Fat red git !

  17. KarlTh

    Shoddy journalism

    %age increases in risk are meaningless without knowing the actual numbers. Reading the abstract, we see that the risk of pancreatic cancer was found to be 1 in 432 over 14 years. Without knowing the proportion of the sample who did drink large quantities of soft drinks, we don't know whether that's the risk for drinkers or for non-drinkers, or (most likely) a combination based on the proportion of drinkers. However, taking a worst case scenario, that this is the risk amongst non drinkers, then an increase of .8% risk as found would increase the number of cases from 140 to 252, which means a risk of 1 in 240. Put another way, an extra 110 cases in a population of 60,524 could be expected if all of them suddenly started drinking lots of pop.

    Hardly "2 cans = death", but don't let the actual numbers get in the way of a story.

  18. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    Statistical data trawl proves black is actually white!

    Rubbish! They're just poking and prodding the results of their studies, dividing them into ever smaller boxes until they get the return they want. What's the relative risk? Was it a double-blind trial or just a trawl through observational study data?

    All this statistical rubbish is why we keep getting stories about how wine/coffee/chocolate/sex is good for you one month and bad for you the next. They don't actually demonstrate any significant risk and they're often working with a relative risk (or risk ratio) of less than 1, which is statistically insignificant, and using just a fraction of the population initially claimed for the study.

    Given those conditions it's easy to prove just about anything you want, and these alleged scientists usually do.

  19. Rob Daglish Bronze badge

    Now you mention it...

    Could this not have been deduced from the following:

    1) More women drink wine than beer. They tend to suffer heart attacks less, but are more prone to brittle bones - osteoperosis

    2) More men drink beer than wine, so have more heart problems and less brittle bone problems.

    3) Where do I claim my £30 million research grant now please?!?

  20. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    1700's here we come again!

    I believe that due to the diabolical water quality in the 1700's, everyone was encouraged to drink beer, due to the fermentation process killing off the nasty bugs used in the water! Now it's healthy too!

    Anyway, aren't pregnant women supposed to drink the "Black Diesel" to build up strength or was that a marketing ploy put about by the owners of the big golden G?

    1. Peter Kay

      There's plenty of iron in Guinness

      I believe that was the reason for recommending Guinness/stout.

      It's entirely true that until relatively recently beer was drunk in cases where water would now be substituted. The difference is that it was considerably weaker than the average 4% for a pint of decent beer now.

  21. Paul Shirley

    meanwhile in Belgium

    Reminds me of the Belgian 'Metro' front page story about a school outlawing soft drink vending machines and supply table beer instead - because a 2-3% beer was considered much healthier than sugary fizz!

    Never did find out if it was just a wind up, we were hitting the 10% stuff too hard that week to keep track ;)

  22. Mike 140

    Have those Californians .....

    ..... done any research on bacon?

  23. Anonymous Coward

    temperature controlled ?

    Of course the potential benefit is lost if the beer is one of those "extra cold" atrocities (along with its taste). I still remember the shock of visiting Dublin and not being able to find a decent Guinness in any city center bar - just ice cold slop.

  24. jason 7
    Thumb Up

    I was a fizzy beer boy.....

    ....but now after years of derision at beer festivals I'm now a Beer Man!

    Yes about 10 years ago the quality of 'real ale' was pretty poor imo. However, over the past few years the quality has shot through the roof. Now when I go to a beer festival I might just get one beer out of 8 I might try (halfs by the way) that is so/so.

    It may be a tastes change as you get older thing but most real ale is really tasty stuff now. A welcome change to indentikit fizzy lager.

    Beer is now fun!

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Confused, but hey its my pension plan.

    Meanwhile, other topflight boffins have discovered that the swilling of pop is a fantastically unhealthy thing to do. Research reveals that drinking just two cans of soft drink a week will double your risk of pancreatic cancer.


    VS's the quote of:

    "The high levels of sugar in soft drinks may be increasing the level of insulin in the body, which we think contributes to pancreatic cancer cell growth," says Dr Mark Pereira of Minnesota Uni.


    I'm confused as on one hand they say research and in the other they say with all certinty we aint got a clue realy but we believe. Its science damit, not religiou, you either know or you know that you dont know. Hell Priministers have had more proof of WMD's than they have here.

    Either way I have documented my softdrink consumtion thruout my life with many people to the extent that if they suddenly find its bad for you and they never warned me with big silly pictures on the cans label, I get to sue there ass's. This is my pension plan, its about as robust as any pension plan there is today.

    1. KarlTh

      Gordon Bennet

      Read the feckin' abstract, and you'll realise that there is a clear distinction between the outcomes of the study (which are pretty concrete and quantified) and hypothesising over the mechanism (which btw does not form part of the paper).

      I don't know wether your understanding of the scientific method and how to read abstracts or your grasp of the English language is the more appalling.

  26. Juan Inamillion

    @Diet fizz is OK presumably

    "Silicon? That's what they make fake tits out of. "

    Fail. Fake tits are made (but not always) from silicone. If you read this column you really should know the difference.

    1. Steen Hive

      Double Fail

      Silicones without exception being made with silicon. If you actually got out occasionally and felt a couple, you would know the difference.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @@Diet fizz is OK presumably

      how much difference can an e make?

  27. Michael C

    No wonder everyone in my family lives into their 90s

    Italian heritage, with a smash of German and Irish.

    Grandma on Dad's side drank 3-4 beer a day until she died in her late 80s (cancer, she smoked every day of those 80+ years since she was 14 on.) Grandpa on that side is 88 and still playing golf a few days a week (and scoring under his age almost every time). Grandma on my mom's side had 1 beer every night with dinner, and made it to 96. Her husband worked underground on the NY water tunnels a good chunk of his life, and dies of cancer in his 70s. However, great grandparents on both sides made it to their 90s. 2 made it past 100.

    All we typically eat is pasta (tomato based mostly), bread, chicken steak and venison, a mix of veggies, heavy on the garlic, Olive oil in the pans instead of butter, and wash it down with either red wine or beer (and typically the darker beers if not a stout).

    Given the powers of red wine, beer, garlic, tomato, and all the spices, it's no wonder everyone is fat and happy into late years. The only cancer cases have been extreme long term smoking, or industrial hazard related. Pretty much every single member of the family dies of heart disease, but in your 90s, i call that natural causes...

  28. G 4
    Dead Vulture

    Poor show El Reg!

    Having carefully prepared my case for removal of the generic Fizzy Pop dispensing dalek of diabetic doom, and immediate instigation of cask ale panacea based distributing apparatus I downloaded the quoted article, specifically looking for the passage:

    "moderate beer consumption may help fight osteoporosis, a disease of the skeletal system characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue"

    as the lynchpin of my argument. Alas! Nowhere within said article is this passage present.

    I blame The Register for having my carefully planned and blueprinted installation rejected. Shoddy journalism!

  29. Captain Save-a-ho


    This just in...some things you eat and drink might kill you after you're no longer young.. Oh the horror!

    Glad for the note on beer, though it's also clear that alcohol poisoning isn't any good either.

    When will we finally have a studied that concludes that people should just indulge themselves moderately in all these things (and most other things too).

  30. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Waxed paper cup malnutrition

    Will drinking soda from a silicon dioxide vessel make it healthy again?

    1. Quirkafleeg


      I'd stick to using it when baking if I were you. Unless you mean caustic soda…

  31. heyrick Silver badge

    A happy life is better than a sucky life

    I have two cans of P**si a day, several Tw*x bars and have just eaten half a slab of chocolate. You might expect me to be a porker, but I'm actually losing weight as my job is extremely active. I wonder if this research proves more that fizzy drinks are bad, or that people who guzzle fizzy drinks are, on the whole, a less healthy lot.

    Can't have beer. Half a glass of wine gets me on the bog with results not unlike food poisoning. Beer is worse.

    Never mind. My life will be over one day, I'd rather enjoy the rubbish I put in my gut than restrict myself to lettuce and a carrot (and Beer-Bad) and feel miserable all the time. It's a basic philosophy. Enjoy life. In fact, I think I'll go crack a can of the gloopy-sugar-water and toast a happy life. Beer logo for the rest of you.

    PS: I also drink about eight-nine mugs of tea a day, any comment on that? ;^)

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022