New study: beer can be an effective pain reliever
Health experts say that around eight million million people suffer from recurrent headaches. Many try to fight their ailments with medicines. Others prefer to use home remedies. British researchers are now reporting on another possible measure: According to their study, beer can relieve headaches. However, this should not be a call to drink alcohol.
Every tenth German uses headache medications every day
More and more - especially young - people in Germany suffer from headaches. According to experts, this is due, among other things, to the increasing pressure and stress in professional and everyday life. Many sufferers try to combat their symptoms with painkillers. A report by the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) showed that around one in ten Germans takes at least one headache tablet every day. Researchers from England are now reporting on a remedy that can relieve the symptoms better than medicines: beer.
Natural help for headaches
Health experts usually advise against the regular use of painkillers for headaches, since these can cause long-term headaches.
For minor complaints, simple tricks for headaches are often more effective than medication. For example, a few drops of lemon balm spirit are applied to a piece of sugar and taken as a household remedy for headaches that is known to many people.
According to British scientists, beer can also help with the symptoms. The researchers report around Dr. Trevor Thompson of the University of Greenwich in the Journal of Pain.
An effective pain reliever
A total of 400 subjects took part in their study with 18 experiments. It turned out that consuming two large glasses of beer can reduce symptoms by around a quarter.
"We found solid evidence that alcohol is an effective pain reliever," Dr. Thompson cited in a university announcement.
According to the experts, with a blood alcohol content of 0.8 per mille "the pain threshold in the body increases slightly". This results in “a moderate to large reduction in pain perception”.
Thompson told The Sun newspaper that the analgesic effect could be compared to opioids such as codeine. "The effect is stronger than that of paracetamol," says the study leader.
No call for alcohol consumption
However, the researchers cannot say why alcohol has this effect. One theory is that it can act on the same nerve receptors as drugs, such as ketamine, to numb the sensation of pain.
But it is also possible that alcohol reduces pain indirectly by reducing worries and fears.
Scientists hope that isolating key compounds will enable them to develop new pain relievers in the future - without the toxic, addictive, or harmful effects of alcohol.
Despite the evidence of the analgesic effect, Dr. Warned Thompson said that "the amount of alcohol needed for sustained pain relief could lead to a number of serious health problems."
No more than six beers a week
The university's report points to the UK government's guidelines that no more than six beers should be consumed per week.
In Germany, the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) recommends that women consume a maximum of twelve grams of pure alcohol (a small glass of 0.25 liter beer) per day, for men it is 24 grams (two small glasses).
However, these quantities are only considered safe if alcohol is completely avoided on at least two days a week.
Unfortunately, these limits are often not met. In Germany, people drink an above-average amount of alcohol.
The BZgA recently reported that alcohol consumption is a particular problem, especially among older people. This is also because "in the elderly the alcohol in the liver is broken down more slowly and the fluid balance also changes in old age."
In principle, high consumption can damage every organ of the human body. Drinking too much increases your risk of numerous diseases such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart failure, fatty liver and nerve damage. (ad)