In case there is any doubt in your mind—and judging by Oregon beer sales numbers, there isn’t—hops make the world go round. The little flower is the staple of the Willamette Valley that makes beer taste like beer, and now researchers at OSU are also saying it’s a miracle drug. Apparently certain levels of xanthohumol, a flavonoid in hops, hit all the markers in lab animals that cause weight gain and other metabolic syndromes.
Like you need any new reasons to drink.
The findings, which were just published in a special edition of the journal Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, point to new strategies to combat obesity, high blood sugar, and cholesterol. The tests saw the OSU team feeding lab mice a high-fat diet with different levels of xanthohumol. The mice given the flavonoid at the highest levels saw marked decrease in “bad” cholesterol, insulin, and inflammation.
Cristobal Miranda, a research assistant who worked on the study, commented in a press release.
“This is the first time we’ve seen one compound with the potential to address so many health problems,” she said.
“These were very dramatic improvements.”
The next step will be to analyze how safe high doses of xanthohumol will be to humans, but the early signs are positive. They’ve already given lab animals 15 to 30 times the dosage used in the experiments with no negative results.
Xanthohumol has long been bandied about in research circles as a potential miracle worker, much like the flavonoids found in teas, chocolate, and garlic. This is one of the first times research has clearly identified some of those potential benefits.
No word yet on how Anheuser-Busch is cashing this in yet, but stay tuned…
By Sidney Reilly