All beer lovers out there – two pints of beer is better for pain relief than paracetamol, according to research.
A 2017 study conducted by the University of Greenwich found that drinking two pints of beer after work or when the urge hits you, is 24% more effective at providing pain relief than the popular painkiller.
Researchers from the London university compared 18 controlled experiments involving more than 400 people, all exposed to various forms of induced pain such as cold, heat and pressure.
The study, published in the Journal of Pain, discovered that despite all its bad press, alcohol is actually “an effective analgesic” that delivers a “clinically-relevant” reduction in pain intensity.
The leader of the research, senior psychology lecturer Dr Trevor Thompson, said the study found “robust” evidence to suggest that alcohol’s impact on pain is comparable to opioid drugs such as codeine.
“The effect is more powerful than paracetamol,” he said. “Consuming around four units of alcohol – about two pints of beer or medium glasses of wine – resulted in a drop of 24% in people’s pain ratings.”
Researchers have theorised that alcohol may act on the same nerve receptors as drugs such as ketamine, dulling the feeling of pain.
The study claimed the link between alcohol and pain relief “could explain alcohol misuse in those with persistent pain, despite its potential consequences for long-term health”.
Researchers have said they hope to produce future painkillers by “isolating the key compounds responsible for the painkilling effects” of alcohol without its toxicity.
This doesn’t mean beer should be consumed daily as a means of managing persistent pain – despite being an analgesic, drinking beer excessively is still associated with a number of health risks, but I am sure a few of us are feeling better already…