While the health benefits of wine are widely known, a new study brings light to an ingredient in beer that may fight Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Learn more about this compound found in beer hops and how it might help protect your brain.
Can Drinking Beer Help Protect Your Brain from Alzheimer’s?
A compound found in beer called xanthohumol (Xn), has already been shown to have anti-inflammatory and cancer effects and now researchers believe the compound may protect the brain from diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as well.
The team of researchers from Lanzhou University in China believe that Xn can guard the brain against oxidative stress, which is a contributing factor in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Lead researcher Jianguo Fang said that, “In traditional Chinese medicine, hops have been used to treat a variety of ailments for centuries. 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 also attracted considerable interest because of its multiple pharmacological functions, including anti-oxidation, cardiovascular protection, anti-cancer and cancer chemo prevention, antivirus, anti-obesity, and anti-inflammation.”
A 2008 study published in “Food and Chemical Toxicology,” found that the silicon in beer may actually protect the brain from possible harmful effects of aluminum. By giving mice both an aluminum compound and beer, researchers found that silicon in “moderately high” levels (approximately two beers per day) protected the brain from the damage caused by aluminum.
A Word of Caution
While studies do support the idea that moderate consumption of alcohol may have brain boosting benefits it is important to note that beer is not a nutritional alternative to healthy eating choices.
Beer is known to have nitrates, which are actually thought to aid in the development of Alzheimer’s and harm brain health. Furthermore, the Alzheimer’s fighting benefits of beer only occur in moderate consumption and need to take into consideration the age and gender of the person drinking.
Overall, the risks of drinking moderate to large amounts of beer far outweigh the health benefits.
Have you heard about this new study? What do you think about the brain boosting benefits of beer? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
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