Just in time for Octoberfest, Ohio State University researchers have identified a compound in hops — one of the chief ingredients of beer — capable of improving memory and thinking.
The researchers discovered that doses of the flavonoid xanthohumol improved the cognitive abilities of mice fed dietary supplements containing the compound over an eight-week period.
The study suggests the compound may affect a process known as palmitoylation, which occurs naturally in animals (including humans), that is associated with loss of memory and mental functioning.
The treated mice were put through a series of tests — including a water maze — to gauge whether or not the compound had improved their spatial memory and cognitive flexibility. The results showed the animals performed better after consuming the xanthohumol.
The researchers said the findings suggest the compound could one day be used medicinally to treat cognitive problems, including dementia.
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