Monday, January 14, 2008

Beer could help fight cancer

The preliminary studies performed by researchers in Germany indicate xanthohumol, found in hops, inhibits a family of enzymes that can trigger the cancer process, as well as help the body detoxify carcinogens. "It's very healthy. I think the ingredients in the beer are very good," says Dr Werner Back, a brewing technology expert at the Technical University of Munich. It's actually kind of poetic that German researchers would come to discover something healthy in a liquid they have been producing since the 13th century.

"Xanthohumol has been shown to be a very active substance against cancer," says Dr Markus Herrmann, also of Munich. "It comes in small sticky beads, which you find within the hops." Here is the US, preliminary studies at Oregon State University show that xanthohumol can kill breast, colon, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Of course these tests were all done with high concentrations of Xanthohumol, as much as one would find in 60 pints of beer.

If science and brewers can find a way to raise the levels of Xanthohumol without sacrificing the taste, maybe one day we can lift and pint and honestly toast to our health.

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