Feb. 9, 2015 – It’s too early to say whether beer offers protection against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s but research at Lanzhou University in China found that xanthohumol (Xn), a compound found in hops, protected brain cells in rats from oxidative stress. Rats. It’s a long way from working on humans.
What’s oxidative stress? It’s damage caused by the body’s inability to counteract free radicals. For some years now there’s been a lot of talk about resveratol, a compound found in wine, being an antioxidant that fights free radicals. Having read countless articles on the subject, the one take away we sort of understand is free radicals = bad; antioxidants = good. Conclusion: drink wine.
Now beer is having its moment in the sun. If Xn – the compound in hops – helps to protect brain cells from free radicals, which contribute to the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, then perhaps a little judicious beer drinking will turn out to be healthy. Note we said “a little”. Guzzle and you won’t remember anything.
The study was published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and here’s a link to the research at Lanzhou University: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf505075n. After the first couple of lines we were lost but the upshot in the conclusion indicates that the researchers believe that “…Xn might be a potential candidate for the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders.”