A new study from China says that lap tests show that xanthohumol, an ingredient found in hops, may protect neuronal cells. This could potentially slow the development of brain disorders that result in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Jianguo Fang, the lead researcher maintains that oxidative damage to neuronal cells contributes to the development of these diseases. The compound found in hops seems to have a number of benefits, including properties that are anti-oxidation, anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-obesity, and anti-inflammation.
Fang claims, “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.”
In September 2014 scientists at Oregon State University found that very high levels of xanthohumol improved the cognitive function of young mice.
Xanthohumol is a type of flavonoid, the compounds found in plants that give them their colour. Scientists have been studying them in blueberries, dark chocolate, and red wine to uncover any potential benefits. The Oregon scientists researched the possibility that xanthohumol could be used to treat metabolic syndrome, a condition associated with obesity and high blood pressure, as well as age-related deficits in memory.
The scientists found that very high doses of xanthohumol seemed to improve cognitive ability in young mice, who were tested with a maze, but it did not improve the capability in old mice. The doses of xanthohumol were far higher than those of a normal diet, so the levels of xanthohumol used would only be possible using supplements.
One scientist said that humans would have to drink “2,000 litres of beer a day to reach the xanthohumol levels we used in this research.”