Beer, our ertswhile companion, apparently contains powerful anti-oxidants thatmay reduce the risk of cataracts and heart disease, according to two newstudies. And the darker the beer is, the better, concluded scientists whopresented their beer research on Sunday 17th December at PacifiChem 2000, aninternational meeting of chemists in Honolulu. Dr. John Trevithick andcolleagues at the University of Western Ontario tested the ability of anti-oxidants in beer to stop cell-harming oxygen ? andcompared that to anti-oxidants in wine and alcohol alone. Dr. Trevithick thentested a beer anti-oxidant on a rat's eye lens ? and showed it preventedformation of a diabetic cataract. "For anti-oxidant capability, beer isjust as good as red wine or in the case of some dark beers, better," he said."Both are better than alcohol alone." The research suggests that otherproperties in beer and wine, besides the alcohol content, also have ananti-oxidant effect he said. This study was reinforced by another beer studypresented Sunday. Joe Vinson, a professor of chemistry at the University ofScranton in Pennsylvania, found that hamsters who drank the equivalent of twobeers a day, cut in half their rate of atherosclerosis ? the fatty depositsthat build up in the arteries when someone has heart disease.To read the fullpapers presented at the Sypmposia visithttp://www.acs.org/meetings/pacific2000/accepted.html#medi8.