I've previously written about how alcohol lowers testosterone and increases estrogen, but it might be worthwhile to explore this a little further. Specifically, let's talk about the effects that beer has on the bodies of men and women. Please note: this article isn't about alcoholism as much as looking into the hidden downside of beer. Here are some good alcoholism articles if you're interested.
The biggest problem with beer - other than it's addictiveness - is the hops it contains. Hops, in case you didn't already know, is a powerful preservative that has been used in beer for centuries.
The widespread use of hops in beer can generally be traced to the early 16th century and the German Beer Purity Law, which mandated that the only ingredients that could be used in beer were water, barley and hops. Prior to this act most recipes for beer consisted of many different medicinal plants, and beer itself was actually considered a medicine and quite healthy. Legend has it that the Protestants of that era were the driving force behind the Beer Purity Law as hops was believed to reduce the libido.
Long ago German beer makers made the startling discovery that the women who harvested hops actually experienced earlier menstrual periods. It also seemed to reduce the libido and contribute to feminizing the bodies of men. The reason for all of this is now known: hops is one of the more powerful phyto-estrogens (plant-based estrogens) in the world - and all of this extra hops is causing havoc in our bodies. Today, hops is far and away the most used plant-based estrogen, primarily being consumed through beer.
Men: the result of all this extra hops is that your body will exhibit the secondary sexual characteristics of a woman. Specifically, hops contributes to the buildup of extra fatty tissue in the chest, giving many men the appearance of breasts. It also leads to testicular atrophy. That is, your testes will shrink and harden as the estrogen in your body overwhelms the testosterone. Further, you will experience body hair loss, loss of libido, and a dramatic reduction in erections.
Women: the result of all this extra hops is that your body is now a breeding ground for a whole host of problems. Estrogen dominance in a woman includes (but is not limited to): weight gain, mood swings, irregular periods, fatigue, memory loss and much more. Further, all of the excess estrogen leads to a substantially higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
First let me say that if you are in the habit of drinking more than one or two beers in a day then you should seriously consider quitting. There is a LOT of evidence that drinking 3 or more alcoholic drinks in one day is very bad for your body - without even mentioning the devastating impact it has on every other area of your life. Please face the truth: if you normally have 3 or more drinks in a day you are battling alcoholism.
However, if you are the kind of person who CAN limit yourself to just a drink or two, and you wish to continue drinking beer, then you should immediately look into Gruit beers, which are brewed without using hops. Gruit beers aren't always easy to find, and most stores do not carry them, but they are much healthier for your body than the hop-beers so commonly seen today.
But, if you can't locate Gruit beers then do yourself a big favor: stop drinking beer today. Stop allowing all of this extra estrogen to wreak havoc on your body. In other words, it's time to get sober and treat your body as the temple it is.