Drinking beer in moderation — one a day for women and two a day for men — can deliver protection against heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and dementia.

We’ve known about the benefits of wine for years, but studies are now showing that beer is even better, and it’s because of the ingredients.

One of course is the alcohol, the benefits of which it shares with wine.

Another is vitamin B6. Beer drinkers show a 30% increase of vitamin B6 in their blood. Wine and other spirits also give you a B6 boost, but not quite as much, and for not as long.

The real clincher is the hops. Hops contain a unique anti-cancer micronutrient called xanthohumol which hinders tumor growth, inhibits enzymes that activate cancer cells, and also helps make other unhealthy compounds more water-soluble so that your body can get rid of them … instead of having them hanging around and causing you health problems.

The best beers are usually ales, porters, and stouts, because they have more hops and therefore much higher levels of xanthohumol.

Oregon’s microbrews rank particularly high in this regard.

So rejoice my fellow beer lovers! Your beer drinking is no longer a vice — that is, as long as you can keep it to one or two beers a day.

Any more than that and the health benefits are outweighed by the risks of overindulgence.