In the near future you just may want people to tell you that you've got a "beer belly". Researchers at the National University of Singapore are hard at work on a new beer recipe that incorporates probiotic bacteria, which are believed to promote gastrointestinal health and boost your immune system.
The pale, bubbly drink tastes slightly sweet and has 3.5 percent alcohol content, just under the 4 percent to 6 percent of regular beers. Every 100 ml (3.4 oz) of the drink, or roughly just over a mouthful, contains 1 billion probiotic organisms.
While there have been numerous studies showing that probiotics improve digestive function and boost the immune system, among other health benefits, project researchers stop short of making nutrition claims.
"The beer is simply a new vehicle for delivering probiotics and the associated health benefits," said Chan's project supervisor, Liu Shao Quan.
"It's highly incongruous to think of beer as being a good thing in terms of nutrition," Mak said. "No one knows for sure, but I think it's a very exciting new product."
Liu's team has also experimented with flavored coffees and wines made from Southeast Asia's popular lychee and durian fruits.
If you are thinking about going to the local pub to get a pint of their beer, you might want to hold off. It will be some time before bars can offer the new beer, as the researchers are currently waiting for it to be patented.
The pair are also in talks with beer companies on marketing plans, Liu said, without giving details. It's so early in the creation, they haven't even come up with a name for the beer yet!