German pharmacies sell more of 'health beer' than aspirin

Nov 28, 2005 - A German brewer has taken aim at the female market by producing a beer called "Karla" that it claims does everything from calming the mind to preventing cancer.


The maker notes Karla contains health boosting ingredients like folic acid, lecithin soya extract and vitamins.

Pharmacies in Saarland have reacted by stocking their shelves with the "frauenbier" (the ladies' beer). Some note that the beer outsells aspirin and that customers have also started buying it in place of sleeping pills.

Medical experts aren't so quick to endorse the product. Rolf Hillinghorst, head of the German Center for Addiction Queries, said that beer is not a "health" drink, and that pharmacists should not under any circumstances stock the drink. He said that this would only add to alcoholism.

"Beer is not healthy and has no place in the chemist. Now everyone can say 'my beer consumption is not serious, after all you can buy it in the chemist'," he said.

In the meantime, another "health beer" named "Xan," manufactured by the Bavarian brewery, Weihenstephan, is also finding its way to the shelves in chemists with its claims to stop cancer because of its high content of the anti-oxidant xanthohumol.

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