Beer has played a role in medicine and health since it was invented.  Everyone knows you are supposed to eat your grains daily, and early beer was a source of grain based nutrients.  It is even possible the first beer was consumed like porridge or gruel.  The recipe used by Ancient Egyptians contained tetracycline a powerful antibiotic.  (A cruel twist of fate- this site stole my thunder yesterday.)

It is also important to note the role beer played in preventing illness from E. coli and other bacteria.  People moved into cities and water supplies became contaminated.  The idea of pathogens had not been thought of.  People knew water could make them sick, but beer did not.  What many did not realize is the boil stage of brewing was killing bacteria.  Beer saved thousands if not millions of lives.  Everyone drank beer as it was the only known safe beverage in Europe.

While we do not think of beer as health food today, it was likely more nutritious back then.  Beer today lacks  nutrition and the filters and ingredients used by many brewers likely do not yield the same punch.  However, it is important to remember where beer played a role in history.


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