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Is Lager the Secret to Boosting Your Gut’s Microbiome?

Want to give your gut health a boost? Take a page out of Homer Simpson’s book and grab a cold one. Beer and the gut microbiome might not seem like they’d have a symbiotic relationship, but drinking one brew every night for four weeks straight was found to increase the diversity of gut bacteria and improve intestinal function, according to a report in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Science.

Gut bacteria is big news these days, as research shows it’s associated with everything from greater immunity (good gut bacteria) to heart disease (bad gut bacteria).

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The current study, which split men into two groups, found both alcoholic and non-alcoholic lager yielded positive results for the microbiome. More important than alcohol content, it turns out, is the color of your beer.

The darker the beer, the better it is for your microbiome. That’s due to a higher concentration of something called polyphenols—compounds researchers credit with giving beer its gut-enhancing, health-fortifying benefits.

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