American country music singer and songwriter Earl Dibbles Jr. once said: "I got 99 problems and beer solves all of them." And looks like a beer can solve another problem as well. A new research claims that beer could be a better pain reliever than paracetamol and other painkillers.
Researchers from the University of Greenwich, London, UK, found that two pints of beer could reduce pain by a quarter. While they said that everyone must drink responsibly, they also said that alcohol increases the pain threshold in people that in turn reduces the intensity of the pain.
"Findings suggest that alcohol is an effective analgesic that delivers clinically relevant reductions in ratings of pain intensity, which could explain alcohol misuse in those with persistent pain, despite its potential consequences for long-term health," the researchers said. However, it was specified that further research was required to decide on the precise effects of alcohol on pain.
18 studies involved 404 participants
The findings, reported in The Journal of Pain, were made public after the researchers conducted 18 studies, involving 404 participants.
Speaking to The Sun about the findings, Dr Trevor Thompson, who headed the study said: "We have found strong evidence that alcohol is an effective painkiller.It can be compared to opioid drugs such as codeine and the effect is more powerful than paracetamol."
While it was found that higher the alcohol consumption, higher the threshold of pain, researchers do not in any way promote excessive drinking. "Drinking too much will cause you more problems in the long run. It's better to see your GP," warned Dr Rosanna O'Connor, Director of Alcohol and Drugs at Public Health England.
An Apple? Nah! A beer a day keep the doc away!
Meanwhile, pain is not the only thing that beer is associated with reducing. A 2016 study by the Pennsylvania State University found that a beer is day is what could keep the doctor away. The study, which involved 80,000 adults who saw a natural decline in good cholesterol, found that this decline could be slowed down with a moderate intake of alcohol. The study also found that a pint of beer or two could help reduce the risk of a stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
Apart from these, beer is also known to reduce the risk of kidney stones. Finnish researchers studied about 27,000 men and found that the water and alcohol content in beer increased the urine flow and dilute urine, which in turn reduced the risk of kidney stones. After the study, the Finnish researchers concluded that each bottle of beer consumed per day could reduce the risk of kidney stones by about 40 percent.
So, what are you going to do the next time you're in pain? Chug a beer or pop a pill?