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Beer Has ‘hops’ to Stem Growth of Cancer, Says New Study

Despite its post-drink acidic effect on stomach, beer has always been on the postive radar for many scientists and now they have come out with another finding that it could be used in treating cancer. It contains hops, which taste bitter and give beer its unique taste.

Hops contain acids known as humulones and lupulones with ability to turn into drugs with potential to treat cancer, said Kristopher Waynant of University of Idaho in the US. They have unique ability to stem bacterial growth and disease, insists Waynant, the lead author of a study. However, the findings are preliminary in nature and require more trail and error mechanism to establish the link, he said.

Proposing future studies in collaboration with other biologists, he said developing active agents for medicines used in treating cancers or inflammatory diseases from the beer-inspired compounds holds great future. His research interest includes projects on asymmetric synthesis of complex natural products, asymmetric synthesis of common bittering agents, synthesis of C-linked glycosides as potential non-lethal pesticides, and novel materials for the degradation of pesticides.

His study was presentted at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.


beer-cancer link

Otherwise, past studies have shown that the yeast that gives beer the bubbles could also help in fighting off yeast infections and autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease, sounding more prebiotic medicines to help people suffering from bowel problems and autoimmune diseases.

Beer has been a favourite drink for over 7,000 years in some form or the other. “One of the big surprises in this study was that B. thetaiotaomicron is so specifically tuned to recognise the complex carbohydrates present in yeasts, such as those present in beer, wine and bread,” said Eric Martens, assistant professor at University of Michigan Medical School a year ago.

The mechanism by which B. thetaiotaomicron feast upon difficult to break down complex carbohydrates called yeast mannans, found in beer and wine. “These bacteria turned out to be smarter than we thought: they recognise and degrade both groups of carbohydrates, but have entirely separate strategies to do so despite the substantial chemical similarity between the host and yeast carbohydrates,” Martens noted in a paper published in the journal ‘Nature’.

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