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Beer is a fermented and a low alcohol drink that contains components with high nutritional value. These components come from the raw material used in the brewing process, like malt and hops, and from the yeast that carry out fermentation. Beer is one of the fermented drinks more consumed and has an important role in the Mediterranean Diet.

Beer is rich in nutrients that basically come from the raw material such as inorganic compounds or minerals (sulphates, chlorides, zinc, iron, copper, tin); carbohydrates in mono, di- and trisaccharide form as well as dextrins and β-glucans; nitrogen compounds like aminoacids, peptides, proteins and nucleic acids and in lower levels vitamins of the B group. Furthermore, it is a source of bioactive compounds such as polyphenols. 20-30% of the phenolic compounds come from hops and the rest 70-80% are malt derived. The chemical structural classes of polyphenols found in beer are simple phenols, benzoic and cinnamic acids derivatives, coumarins, catechins and di- and trioligomeric proantocyanindins, prenyflavanoids, humulons and lupulons (alfa and iso-alfa-acids of hops).

Recent studies had demonstrated that beer consumption does not modify weight or body composition. Moreover, it has been reported that the intake of low doses of alcohol could have a cardioprotective role. For these reasons, a moderate consumption of beer could decrease the cardiovascular risk.

Due to the interest of studing beer, our group of Polyphenols has started a new research line. Nowadays, a new methodology based on mass spectrometry is being developed in order to identify and quantify the polyphenols found in beer as well as their metabolites generated after its consumption in urine samples. Our aim is to find a biomarker of beer consumption that will allow us to evaluate its protective and its toxic role in clinical studies in collaboration with Hospital Clinic of Barcelona.


Quifer-Rada P, Vallverdú-Queralt A, Martínez-Huélamo M, Chiva-Blanch G, Jáuregui O, Estruch R, Lamuela-Raventós R. A comprehensive characterisation of beer polyphenols by high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-LTQ-Orbitrap-MS). Food Chem. 2015 Feb 15;169:336-43. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.07.154

Chiva-Blanch G, Magraner E, Condines X, Valderas-Martínez P, Roth I, Arranz S, Casas R, Navarro M, Hervas A, Sisó A, Martínez-Huélamo M, Vallverdú-Queralt A, Quifer-Rada P, Lamuela-Raventos RM, Estruch R. Effects of alcohol and polyphenols from beer on atherosclerotic biomarkers in high cardiovascular risk men: A randomized feeding trial. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2014 Aug 2. pii: S0939-4753(14)00251-8. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2014.07.008.

Paola Quifer-Rada; Miriam Martínez-Huélamo; Gemma Chiva-Blanch; Olga Jáuregui; Ramon Estruch; Rosa Mª Lamuela-Raventós. Urinary Isoxanthohumol Is a Specific and Accurate Biomarker of Beer Consumption. J Nutr. 2014 Apr;144(4):484-8. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.185199. 

Chiva-Blanch G, Condines X, Magraner E, Roth I, Valderas-Martínez P, Arranz S, Casas R, Martínez-Huélamo M, Vallverdú-Queralt A, Quifer-Rada P, Lamuela-Raventos RM, Estruch R. The non-alcoholic fraction of beer increases stromal cell derived factor 1 and the number of circulating endothelial progenitor cells in high cardiovascular risk subjects: A randomized clinical trial. Atherosclerosis. 2014 Apr;233(2):518-24. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.12.048. 

Paola Quifer-Rada; Miriam Martinez-Huelamo; Olga Jauregui; Gemma Chiva-Blanch; Ramon Estruch; Rosa M. Lamuela-Raventos. Analytical Condition Setting a Crucial Step in the Quantification of Unstable Polyphenols in Acidic Conditions: Analyzing Prenylflavanoids in Biological Samples by Liquid Chromatography  Electrospray Ionization Triple Quadruple Mass Spectrometry. Anal Chem. 2013 Jun 4;85(11):5547-54. doi:10.1021/ac4007733.