Beer is a low-grade fermented beverage that naturally contains components of great nutritional interest, derived both from the raw materials used in the production, malt and hops, and from the yeasts that carry out the fermentation. It is the second most consumed alcoholic beverage in Europe and has an important role in the Mediterranean Diet.
Beer is rich in nutrients that come from the raw material, such as inorganic or mineral compounds (sulfates, chlorides, zinc, iron, copper and tin); carbohydrates in the form of mono-, di-, and trisaccharides, dextrins, and β-glucans; nitrogenous compounds including amino acids, peptides, proteins and nucleic acids and, to a lesser extent, vitamins of group B.
Beer is a source of bioactive compounds such as polyphenols, 20-30% of these compounds come from hops and the remaining 70-80% come from malt. The structural classes of the polyphenols in this drink include simple phenols, derivatives of benzoic and cinnamic acid, coumarins, catechins and proanthocyanidins di- and trioligomeric, prenylflavanoids, humulones and lupulones (alpha and iso-alpha-acids derived from hops).
Due to the great interest presented by the beer study, our group has identified and quantified both the polyphenols present in beer and the metabolites generated after ingesting it in urine samples, with the aim of identifying a biomarker of consumption of beer. This allows us to determine both the protective role and the toxicity that beer can have in clinical studies in collaboration with the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.