Beer: It does the body good, at least according to Heineken's chief commercial officer, who went on CNBC and offered his expert advice on the health benefits of the alcoholic beverage.

On Friday, Heineken exec Alexis Nasard made his health-conscious pitch to CNBC's morning show panelists, proclaiming "There is everything which is healthy about beer."

Skeptical co-host Steve Sedgwick pressed Nasard for details.

“Beer is much less calories than many things you can think about," Nasard said. "Beer already has less calories than a glass of milk, that's probably one thing you didn't know,” he said, although he jokingly stopped short of recommending the drink to small children.

“The other thing is also is that beer is one of the few drinks which, actually, is purely natural; it's water, hops, barley and yeast, which is quite healthy," he added.

According to Women's Health Magazine's comprehensive chart, a bottle of Heineken contains 150 calories. For comparison, a cup of whole milk contains about 150 calories, and a cup of fat-free milk contains about 90 calories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Heineken is the world’s third largest brewer, CNBC notes.

The health benefits of alcoholic beverages have long been touted by the industry, as evidenced by Guinness's classic "A Guinness a day is good for you" advertising campaign. Many studies have been commissioned to research the claim, and the verdict is generally mixed.

As Time Magazine reports, many studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption (one drink a day for women, and two for men) may be good for the body. Some also suggest drinkers of all types tend to live longer than nondrinkers.

In addition, beer is rich in dietary silicon, which increases bone density and may help fight osteoporosis, according to researchers from the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California. Dark beers like Guinness are also a source of iron, although lighter ales like Heineken are not, according to researchers from the University of Valladolid in Spain.

A massive meta-analysis of epidemiological data on alcohol and health, conducted in Italy, concluded that moderate beer drinking decreases the risk of heart disease by 31 percent -- the same as drinking wine in moderation.

Beer fans shouldn't start breaking out the celebration kegs yet; their favorite beverage is far from being considered totally healthy.

Many beers are high in calories (check out this slideshow for a comparison). In addition, heavy drinking has been linked with a higher risk of heart problems, and drinking in any amount may increase the risk of breast cancer in women.

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  • 1. Bud Light

    Cases sold: 269,135,600 Average price per case: $20.26 Total sales: $5,452,052,000

  • 2. Budweiser

    Cases sold: 101,760,300 Average price per case: $20.21 Total sales: $2,056,722,000

  • 3. Coors Light

    Cases sold: 101,651,900 Average price per case: $19.85 Total sales: $2,017,366,000

  • Miller Lite

    Cases sold: 86,678,030 Average price per case: $19.80 Total sales: $1,716,281,000

  • Natural Light

    Cases sold: 72,036,540 Average price per case: $15.41 Total sales: $1,110,150,000

  • Busch Light

    Cases sold: 49,320,380 Average price per case: $14.96 Total sales: $737,926,300

  • Busch

    Cases sold: 43,696,500 Average price per case: $15.39 Total sales: $672,443,100

  • Michelob Ultra Light

    Cases sold: 43,696,500 Average price per case: $15.39 Total sales: $672,443,100

  • Miller High Life

    Cases sold: 32,215,610 Average price per case: $15.49 Total sales: $499,148,300

  • Keystone Light

    Cases sold: 32,654,530 Average price per case: $14.71 Total sales: $480,261,800

  • Natural Ice

    Cases sold: 24,161,730 Average price per case: $14.91 Total sales: $360,287,600

  • Bud Light Lime

    Cases sold: 11,354,010 Average price per case: $25.91 Total sales: $294,227,200

  • Ice House

    Cases sold: 14,545,810 Average price per case: $16.20 Total sales: $235,627,900

  • Pabst Blue Ribbon

    Cases sold: 14,690,570 Average price per case: $15.89 Total sales: $233,392,000

  • Bud Ice

    Cases sold: 13,535,730 Average price per case: $17.05 Total sales: $230,767,400

  • Yuengling Traditional Lager

    Cases sold: 10,036,280 Average price per case: $21.89 Total sales: $219,679,200

  • Bud Light Platinum Lager

    Cases sold: 7,285,657 Average price per case: $26.31 Total sales: $191,701,900

  • Steel Reserve High Gravity Lager

    Cases sold: 9,660,888 Average price per case: $18.29 Total sales: $176,728,700

  • Blue Moon Belgian White Ale

    Cases sold: 5,215,089 Average price per case: $31.01 Total sales: $161,708,100

  • Coors

    Cases sold: 7,635,134 Average price per case: $19.25 Total sales: $147,010,300