Beer, a miracle for health?

A study from Oregon State University shows that a flavonoid found in hops dramatically improves certain markers such as cholesterol, insulin, inflammation and weight in mice. From there to say that beer heals…

It is a study with extraordinary results which nevertheless opens the door to erroneous interpretations as evidenced by certain catchy titles such as “How beer can help you lose weight”. In reality, it is research conducted on a component naturally present in hops, xanthohumol, which has been tested in supplement form. The researchers gave different doses of xanthohumol to the animals exposed to a high-fat diet.

Falling cholesterol, insulin, inflammation

They found that, compared to control animals, those receiving the highest dose of this flavonoid showed a dramatic drop:

  • LDL cholesterol level (about 80%),
  • their insulin level (-42%),
  • as well as that of an inflammatory marker, IL-6 (-78%).

Further weight loss

In addition, the weight gain of the animals in the highly dosed group turns out to be 22% less than that observed in the control group, despite an equivalent food consumption.

3,500 beers a day!

For the authors, this study is a first step in the way that could lead to an effective treatment for metabolic syndrome. A treatment that could hardly be envisaged by the consumption of beer: the amount of xanthohumol administered to mice would amount, for an adult, to drinking some 3,500 beers a day…


Cristobal L. et al.: Xanthohumol improves dysfunctional glucose and lipid metabolism in diet-induced obese C57BL/6J mice; Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics

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