Craft Beer is Good Medicine Part 2: Here Comes the Science

Jim has done a bunch of whiny posts about how he was sick and how craft beer came to his rescue.  “Oh my back hurts, oh I don’t feel good, oh I just turned my shorts into a fudge factory”…please.  His posts were about how craft beer made him feel better when he was ailing (which is like all the time).  But now there is some empirical evidence that beer was used as an antibiotic in, of all places, Ancient Nubia.

Nubia was an ancient kingdom that is south of present day Egypt in the Country of Sudan.  An archaeological study of ancient Nubian bones found unusually high amounts of Tetracycline present in the bone.  Well, previously it was thought that antibiotics were invented in 1928 by Alexander Flemming, but here we had Tetracycline in 2000 year old bones.  But how did it get there?  Well, beer of course…

The Ancient Nubians had a brewing practice where they made beer from bread and tea from germinated and mashed sprouts of some kind.  In the drying process is where researchers believe that the beneficial bacteria would enter the grains and vuala you have antibiotic beer.  They used to drink the stuff all the time, and they actually would pour it onto wounds and use it as a dressing for bandages etc.  And…it worked!  With all the tetracycline found in the ancient bones they mush have been better able to fight off infection and as a result live longer and healthier lives.

The full article is found here in Health and Fitness.  The FDA has been adament that the health benefits of any alcohol cannot be advertised on beverages, but it is also known that a moderate amount of alcohol has benefits for heart disease, colon health, and recently studies have been done for the benefits of moderate consumption and the rates of various cancers.  Not to mention that Beer has vitamin B as well as beneficial fibers that improve overall physical health.

So it seems that once again the benefits of beer are great and many.  I love it when we discover something that they knew 2000 years ago, and think it is new!  Those ancient Nubians are probably thinking we are a bunch of idiots!  So they knew it, and now we do too…A beer a day keeps the doctor away!


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Categories: Beer, Lifestyle

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9 Comments on “Craft Beer is Good Medicine Part 2: Here Comes the Science”

  1. March 3, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    One thing beer doesn’t help is the stomach flu I’m just getting over.

    Oh wait, am I whining again? 😦

  2. Don
    March 3, 2011 at 12:57 pm #


  3. March 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    Germinated and Mashed Sprout/Tea/Bread beer sounds like something Dogfish Head would release. And would somehow taste good.

    • Don
      March 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

      Except this beer was drank shortly after fermentaion, as it tended to spoil quickly. No aging in giant wooden vats.

  4. March 4, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Yo Don!

    Didn’t get a chance to comment on this yesterday, but in a semi-related note, I read this article on the train ride home:

    Fascinating stuff!


    • Don
      March 4, 2011 at 9:49 am #

      As a Type 2 diabetic ( I know more than you wanted to know) It is cool to see insulin production related to brewing. I think I will just cut out the middleman and drink the beer. That should work…right? 😉

      • March 4, 2011 at 10:40 am #

        Hmm… I see a clinical trial “brewing”. You may be on to something! Perhaps I should send some emails to an Endocrinologist or two.

        • Don
          March 4, 2011 at 10:42 am #

          Couldn’t hurt! I can see it now…A beer for every ailment. You have Lupus, there’s a beer for that, MS have this lager, Cancer…there’s a stout for that, Diabetic…Have I got a saison for you!

      • March 5, 2011 at 8:58 am #

        We could be onto something Don! Modern medicine is a little over 150 years old while brewing and distilling go back a few millenia. Given that history, it may be worth looking into. 🙂

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