Natural Standard Database: Beer for Lactation, and other Myths – Busted!

EDIT 3/26/15: Natural Standard is now called Natural Medicine! Same great resource, just a new name.


Did you know that the health sciences library subscribes to some excellent, evidence-based databases about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)? These CAM resources include information on dietary supplements and integrative therapies. Natural Standard in particular uses a grading system to indicate the level of high-quality scientific data available either for or against a particular therapy or medical condition.

Did you also know that people have historically recommended beer for lactating women to increase their milk supply? As crazy as this sounds, this myth still persists today, despite a complete lack of scientific evidence supporting such treatment. In fact, search for “beer” in the Natural Standard database, and you will see several studies (here, here, here, AND here) that actually show that beer as a breast milk stimulant lacks sufficient evidence. By the way, there is also insufficient evidence in favor of beer as a treatment of diabetes, endometrial cancer, esophageal cancer, and osteoporosis, among other conditions!

Natural Standard actually indicates that, “at this time, there is a lack of strong scientific evidence to support beer consumption for any clinical purpose” (sorry, kids). They give beer an Evidence Grade of “C” which means there is “unclear or conflicting scientific evidence” in favor of a particular therapy, based on current randomized controlled trials.

This extensive database also features recipes, multidisciplinary continuing education, and patient handouts. To access Natural Standard and see what myths you can bust, check out the health sciences library’s Online Databases page and look under “Drug Information” to find this and other great databases. Happy myth busting!

One thought on “Natural Standard Database: Beer for Lactation, and other Myths – Busted!

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