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Health benefits of drinking beer

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KATHMANDU — Beer contains the majority of the minerals we have to survive. It was an indispensible of many diets during the European Middle Ages, when good nutrition was rare.

Virginia Tech scientists found that regular, moderate beer drinkers were 19% less likely to die during a given time period than people who never touch a drop.

A key ingredient found in beer may help ward off cold and flu virus. Researchers at Sapporo Medical University found that humulone, a chemical compound in hops, were effective against the respiratory syncytial (RS) virus and were found to have an anti-inflammatory effect.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that women who had one alcoholic drink a day were less likely to find their mental faculties declining as they grow older.

Researchers pointed out that alcohol raises HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), which is associated with a lower risk of heart disease and better cognitive functioning. Drinking just one pint of beer is enough to boost the condition of the blood vessels around the heart. Arteries become more flexible and blood flow improves within hours, the report said.

Likewise, a study published in American Journal of Epidemiology found that ‘beer consumption was inversely associated with risk of kidney stones (in middle aged men). Each bottle of beer consumed per day was estimated to reduce risk by 40 percent.’

Drinking beer after a workout rehydrates the body better than water. Professor Manuel Garzon at Granada University in Spain claimed the carbonation in beer helps to quench the thirst and that its carbohydrate content can help replace lost calories.

According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, beer protects bone-mineral density because of its high levels of silicon. This allows the deposit of calcium and other minerals into bone tissue.

Researchers have reported that the part of hops that isn’t used for making beer contains healthful antioxidants and could be used to battle cavities and gum disease.

In a new study, they have claimed to have identified some of the substances that could be responsible for these healthful effects.

Yoshihisa Tanaka and colleagues note that their earlier research found that antioxidant polyphenols, contained in the hop leaves (called bracts) could help fight cavities and gum disease.

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Deadly Nipah virus claims 12 in Indian state of Kerala

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NEW DELHI — At least 12 people in India have died from a rare deadly and contagious virus known as Nipah virus, according to news reports.

Four deaths were reported on Monday, including of a nurse who treated the three initial infections at the EMS Cooperative Hospital in Perambra. The death of the nurse triggered panic among hospital staff who have had their leaves cancelled to treat the sick, Hindustan Times reported

Two deaths were reported from Kozhikode and four from Malappuram district. At least six persons are in critical condition and another 20 are under observation, state health officials said.

It was recorded in Siliguri district in West Bengal in 2001 and is being suspected in Kerala now, according to media reports

Humans get infected by consuming fruit or date-palm sap contaminated by infected bats but while human-to-human transmission through body fluids is rare.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nipah virus infection is an emerging disease that was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore.

The virus is thought to naturally infect fruit bats (of the genus Pteropus), but it can also infect pigs and other domesticated animals, as well as humans, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus can also spread from person to person.

CDC says Nipah virus can cause an inflammation of the brain known as encephalitis. Symptoms can include fever and headache, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and confusion. People who are infected with the virus may fall into a coma within 48 hours of showing symptoms, the CDC says.

The virus can be highly lethal, with an average fatality rate of around 75 percent, according to the WHO.

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