Tim Hampson's Beer Blog

The quest for the perfect beer

We really shouldn’t shy from shouting the health benefits of beer.

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Beer_is_goodHopping could become a new health craze.

Forget the idea, long trumpeted in the media, that a glass of red wine is the only alcohol good for your health.

In moderation, wine isn’t harmful to you and nor is beer. However, more and more scientists are showing that there are substances in beer which could bring a health benefits above and beyond the adage that a glass of red wine is good for the heart.

Found in hops, is a substance called Xanthohumol, which could bring a whole range of health benefits.

Now scientists are reporting in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that Xanthohumol from hops could protect brain cells from damage — and potentially slow the development of disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

In lab tests, the researchers found that the compound could protect neuronal cells and potentially help slow the development of brain disorders. The scientists conclude Xanthohumol could be a good candidate for fighting such conditions.

Xanthohumol, commonly referred to as Xn, was isolated compound and scientists tested its effects on cells from rats. They observed a “previously unrecognized mechanism underlying the biological action of Xn,” which suggests that Xanthohumol “might be a potential candidate for the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders.”

This latest research adds to an increasing long list of peer reviewed research to test the health benefits of beer

Beer and hop in basketIn 2010, researchers at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg discovered that Xanthohumol could also help protect against breast and prostate cancers.

“Research is still early but in trials we hope to further demonstrate that Xanthohumol actively prevents prostate cancer development,” says Clarissa Gerhauser of the Heidelberg centre. If successful, Xanthohumol may one day be developed as a cancer-fighting drug.”

And in 2013 researchers at Oregon State University said evidence is mounting that Xanthohumol may have cancer-preventing properties.

The researchers isolated the compound in a petri dish model. The experiment found it can actually slow down the process that leads to cancer formation.

And now some scientists are researching if the same substance could slow the onset of type 2 diabetes.

So hop to it and enjoy a glass of healthy beer.

Tim Hampson’s Tweets can be found @beerhero

His published work includes The Beer Book, World Beer, Haynes Beer Manual, Haynes Whisky Manual, Eyewitness Companion Beer, Great Beers, 101 Beer Days Out, London’s Riverside Pubs, London’s Best Pubs, London’s Best Style Bars, Room at the Inn.

He is currently chairman of the British Guild of Beer Writers.


Written by timhampson

February 3, 2015 at 10:41 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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