Beer really is good for you, and it isn’t just your Friday night brain telling you that.
Scientists in Germany have found that the amber nectar really does lift your spirits. In order to find this information, they looked at 13,000 different food components to find out which were the most effective at stimulating the reward centre in the brain.
And they were surprised by what they found- beer tops the list.
Hordenine, which is found in malted beer apparently does the job of cheering up its drinkers very well. Professor Monika Pischetsrieder, from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) said: "It came as a bit of surprise that a substance in beer activates the dopamine D2 receptor, especially as we were not specifically looking at stimulant foodstuffs.”
It is for the above reason that we find it so difficult to stop drinking, or knowing when we’ve had enough and should stop.
Scientists called this hedonic hunger - the drive to eat for pleasure rather than to satisfy an actual biological need.
The feel-good effect is down to the neutrotransmitter dopamine. Turns out that beer stimulates the reward centre in the brain where the dopamine D2 receptor is located.
Scientists at FAU looked at what substances in foods activate the dopamine D2 receptor, in the same way that the dopamine does. By using a virtual screening technique, they searched for foods which fit the receptor. Overall, they narrowed it down to 17 of the original 13,000 food molecules, and analysed them in a science lab.
But, whilst the findings are good news for all beer lovers, it’s important to consider the negative effects that booze can have on your health.
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