PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We’ve all heard of the beer belly, and if you haven’t it’s the outward stretching of your belly caused by the excessive consumption of beer.

A new study is saying this high-calorie drink might not be as hazardous to your health as you may have thought.

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In the study, researchers at Oregon State University used mice to test the effects of beer. The study found that xanthohumol, a flavor found in beer, helped the mice lose weight, and even lowered their cholesterol levels.

Using 48 male mice, the researchers split them into two groups. One group was given 30-60 miligrams of xanthohumol everyday for 12 weeks, while the other was not. Both groups were fed high-fat diets.

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The results found that the mice given higher levels of xanthuhumol ended up reducing their cholesterol levels by 80 percent. They also gained 22 percent less weight than the other group.

According to Menshealth, “the body gives alcohol special treatment – it’s fast-tracked straight from the stomach to the bloodstream, and then to the liver. Half of the alcohol will be absorbed just 10 minutes after having a drink, and all of it within an hour – faster if you drink on an empty stomach.”

But don’t rush to the store just yet, researchers say you would need to drink 3,500 pints of beer in 24-hours to get the same result as the mice. But if you drink too much liver cells can die, and there is a progression eventually to irreversible cirrhosis.

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So choose wisely.