How Beer Could Help with Weight Loss
When you think about weight loss, chances are beer doesn’t come to mind. But it turns out that beer, and more specifically, hops, contains a compound that promotes weight loss as well as has other weight- and health-related benefits.
You don’t need to be a dedicated beer drinker to appreciate what a group of researchers at Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute uncovered about how beer could help with weight loss. In fact, you will never even have to touch the brew to experience how it could assist in dropping excess pounds.
That’s because you would need to down about 3,500 pints per day to get enough xanthohumol. That’s the flavonoid investigators have identified as possessing properties that can address obesity as well as high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and systemic inflammation.
This isn’t the first time scientists have uncovered health benefits of beer. In fact, along with helping build stronger bones, beer has been named as possibly being beneficial for heart health, diabetes, and prevention of prostate cancer.
Latest study findings
An investigative team, under direction of Cristobal Miranda, a research assistant professor at the Institute, explored the activities of xanthohumol, which is found naturally only in hops, in mice and cell cultures. Thus far, the experts have noted that xanthohumol:
- Reduced weight gain in mice given the flavonoid when compared with mice not fed xanthohumol. Both groups of mice were administered the same rich, high-fat diet and the same amount of food, which resulted in weight gain, but the increase was 22 percent less in the treated group of mice.
- Reduced bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) by 80 percent
- Reduced insulin levels by 42 percent
- Reduced levels of IL-6, a substance that indicates inflammation, by 78 percent
- Lowered levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood associated with heart disease and stroke
Naturally, studies will need to be done in humans to determine whether xanthohumol can produce the same impressive results. If the findings are positive, then a concentrated form of xanthohumol could be put into a supplement and help not only with weight loss but with risk factors for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other serious health conditions.
So while beer drinkers may be disappointed to hear that their favorite brew won’t help them drop excess pounds, it’s possible that in the near future, there will be a xanthohumol supplement available for anyone who wants to lose weight and/or take steps to improve their cardiovascular and metabolic health.
Miranda CL et al. Xanthohumol improves dysfunctional glucose and lipid metabolism in diet-induced obese C57BL/6J mice. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 2016 March 11 online
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