Downing a beer a day alters the structure of fibrinogen, a blood protein active in clotting. The preliminary finding by an international research team could be good news for people with artery-narrowing atherosclerosis. They might be able to diminish their risk of heart attacks and strokes by routinely lifting a mug.
For their investigation, Shela Gorinstein of the Hebrew University–Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem and her colleagues recruited 48 men who had just recovered from coronary-artery-bypass surgery. Half received 12 ounces of pale lager every day for a month; the rest got an equivalent amount of mineral water. All participants ate a roughly 1,700-calorie daily diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and olive oil.
When Gorinstein's team compared blood samples from each recruit both before and at the end of the trial, big changes emerged–but only in the men drinking beer. Not only did about 10 percent of their clot-promoting fibrinogen disappear, but m