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Beer Could Help 'Protect Brain against Parkinson's and Alzheimer's'

Monday February 02, 2015

Researchers in China have found that a compound in hops could help fight off degenerative brain diseases

The Telegraph -

As self-delusional arguments go, it sounds like it is up there with claims that a bowl of ice-cream supplies a quarter of your daily calcium needs.

However, scientists in China have found that drinking beer could help protect the brain from a number of degenerative brain diseases.

A team of researchers at Lanzhou Universityhave published a study which claims that xanthohumol, a type of flavonoid found in hops, could help protect the brain against the onset of diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and dementia.

According to Jianguo Fang, who led the research, xanthohumol [Xn], known for its antioxidant properties, helps guard the brain against oxidative stress, an imbalance that occurs as the body metabolises oxygyen, which is believed to be a contributing factor in the development of neurodegenerative conditions.

"In traditional Chinese medicine, hops have been used to treat a variety of ailments for centuries," said Dr Fang. "The presence of a high concentration of Xn in beers might be linked to the epidemiological observation of the beneficial effect of regular beer drinking.

"Xn has attracted considerable interest because of its multiple pharmacological functions, including anti-oxidation, cardiovascular protection, anti-cancer and cancer chemoprevention, antivirus, anti-obesity, and anti-inflammation," he added.

In 2010, researchers at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg published research which found that xanthohumol suppresses a protein called PSA which encourages the spread of prostate cancer.

In September 2014 scientists at Oregon State University found that very high levels of xanthohumol improved the cognitive function of young mice. However, they pointed out that a human would need to drink "2,000 litres of beer a day to reach the xanthohumol levels we used in this research".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/mens-health/11383790/Beer-could-help-protect-brain-from-Parkinsons-and-Alzheimers.html